Sheffield-based postural support specialist, Jiraffe, is coming to the aid of thousands of disabled children across the UK by giving families access to potentially life-saving equipment and services during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The company, with its headquarters in Hillsborough, is collecting and redelivering essential medical equipment – normally accessed by disabled children at school – free of charge, for the duration of the school closure period in the UK.

In addition, Jiraffe – a world leader in the production of postural support equipment – has also launched a new low-cost ‘Emergency Posture Provision’ to offer ‘immediate assistance’ to ‘some of the most vulnerable children and adults in society’.

The short-term loan service offers flexible and easy access to vital seating, standing, sleeping, therapy, mobility and bathroom support equipment for families, carers and children across the UK.

Holly Jenkins, Director at Jiraffe, said: “Following the closure of UK schools, the health of children who need access to vital postural support equipment and services can deteriorate very quickly.

“There are more than one million children in the UK living with a disability, many of whom rely on specialist equipment to carry out essential daily tasks and prevent serious deterioration of their conditions.”

Without correct postural support, children can experience a variety of issues, from extreme pain and discomfort to respiratory and circulation problems,  tightening and shortening of muscles and tendons, a deterioration in mental wellbeing due to lack of engagement, poor bone development and loss of bone density and digestive complications, all of which can lead to immediate and longer-term health problems.

In the worst cases, lack of postural support where it’s needed can have a significant and permanent impact on a child’s physical and psychological wellbeing.

Holly said: “We want to support as many children and families as we can across the UK while alleviating the burden on front-line NHS and social services as much as possible.”

“The reaction we’ve seen from people has been incredible. We’ve been inundated with calls from families and carers and will do everything we can to assist in the supporting the health and wellbeing of the children who now need it the most.