Gainsborough: A devoted dad needs help to provide specialist equipment for his daughter at his home

Eric with Portia
Eric with Portia

A devoted dad desperately needs specialist equipment so he can move his 11-year-old daughter around the house in safety.

Separated from his former partner, Eric Beverley from Gainsborough, looks after his three children on alternate weekends and shares school holidays.

His daughter Portia has cerebral palsy, having been born prematurely, and is a full-time wheelchair user.

Eric said: “When families split up it is the person who is classed as the main carer who gets the support, which includes equipment.”

“I want to do the best I can for my children and continue to play a part in their lives – but I need to know that Portia is safe.”

“At the moment, when it comes to bedtime or bathtime, upstairs, I lift Portia onto my waist, she wraps her arms around me and I have to walk up the stairs holding on to the banister rail.”

“She is very bubbly and likes to achieve 110 per cent in everything she does and she helps me the best she can.”

“However, a few years ago I had two discs removed from my back and for the past year I have been suffering with loss of feeling in my legs.”

“I don’t want to risk dropping Portia if my legs give way.”

A specialist stair climber would help ensure Portia’s safety when she is staying with her dad, but this equipment will cost £5,418.

Statutory services will not provide it because Eric is not Portia’s main carer so he turned to leading UK children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation for help.

Newlife has provided more than £11m of specialist equipment to disabled and terminally ill children around the UK since 2005.

Last year the total was £2,088,105, a 33 per cent increase from the previous year.

Newlife CEO, Sheila Brown, OBE, said: “Newlife really changes the lives of disabled children across the UK.”

“Please help us to help Eric care for his daughter; that’s why we’re appealing for ‘local heroes’ to come forward and donate or fundraise towards Portia’s equipment.”

The Newlife Community Fundraising Team can be contacted on 0800 988 4640 or email

Every penny donated will go directly to help pay for the stair climber and any surplus money raised will be used to fund specialist equipment for other disabled and terminally ill children in Lincolnshire.