A PIECE of specialist equipment will open up a world of opportunities for one-year-old Finlay Montague.
But Finlay, from Fareham, needs help to get the £3,459 buggy which will allow his parents to get him out and about.
Finlay has a complex neurological condition that affects his mobility and causes developmental delay.
He is fed through a gastrostomy tube in his stomach and experiences severe reflux, so sitting up reduces the risk of choking and makes him more comfortable.
His parents use a standard pushchair to take him out, but this doesn’t offer the support that he needs.
Mum Nicola Montague said: ‘We use the car seat part of his pushchair because that keeps him in an upright position, but Finlay finds it uncomfortable and doesn’t like it, which means I normally end up carrying him.’
Nicola said an occupational therapist had recommended Finlay for the specialist buggy, but wheelchair services are unable to provide him with any free equipment until he is three years old.
Nicola said: ‘That’s a two-year wait and in the meantime we need help to make sure that Finlay has the chance to get out more and experience life as he should be able to.’
Nicola contacted charity, the Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children, which has started a fundraiser for Finlay.
Nicola said she hoped people would consider donating, as the buggy would help make his early years that much brighter.
She said: ‘Finlay is a very sociable little boy and loves to look at what’s going on around him.
‘I was surprised by the cost of the specialist buggy but it has additional head and side padding – crucial as Finlay has little head and trunk control – along with underarm supports and a pommel to prevent him slipping down and a five-point harness to keep him safe.
‘Maintaining good posture is important for his future development.’
To donate and find out about other children in Hampshire the charity is supporting, visit newlifecharity.co.uk/hampshire.