Family’s fundraising appeal for bed to keep Elijah safe

Elijah Riley's family are asking for donations towards the bed

Elijah Riley's family are asking for donations towards the bed - Credit: Archant

The mother of a four-year-old boy with autism - who once managed to scale a six-foot fence - is trying to raise enough money to buy him a specialist bed because of concerns about his safety during the night.

Amanda Kidd has resorted to watching son Elijah Riley all night because she is worried that he could harm himself by climbing out of bed while the rest of the family is asleep.

The family, from St Ives, are trying to raise about £3,200 for a specialist bed that would help stop Elijah from climbing out of bed at night.

Elijah currently has a specialist bed on short-term loan through the Newlife charity but his family are desperate to be able to buy one of their own.

The charity has provided some money towards the bed, but more than £3,000 is still needed.

Ms Kidd said: “Unless I watch him every minute he can get himself into the most perilous situations – he’s just doesn’t understand what’s dangerous and what’s not. “Once when I nipped to the bathroom he managed to climb over a dresser and escaped through a window into the garden, then over a six-foot fence into a car park – it’s a miracle he wasn’t run over.

“One night he even got out the front door. Thankfully, he went to a neighbour’s house, but it could have been so much worse.

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“I have another son at home, Liam, aged 11, who has ADHD, so I can never be sure he hasn’t left something unlocked. I constantly have to check everything.”

There are currently 33 children in the region on on Newlife’s waiting list for more than £58,130 of equipment.

Newlife’s senior manager for care services, Carrick Brown, said: “It’s vital Elijah has a specialist bed to prevent him being injured at night, and increasingly families like Elijah’s have no choice but to turn to charities like Newlife.

“We want to help Elijah and his family, but we simply don’t have the funds right now so we are asking people in Cambridgeshire to make a donation or fundraise to help him, as soon as possible, so he’s safe.”

A Joint statement by Cambridgeshire County Council and Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust’s Occupational Therapists said: “We work in partnership to ensure the pooled budget available for specialist equipment, such as Safe Space Beds, is used to support as many children and families in need as possible.

“Whilst we cannot comment on individual circumstances, the Occupational Therapists assess the needs of individuals on a case-by-case basis and consider a range of support options.

“We fully recognise the impact that this type of situation has on families and would encourage any parent who is concerned about the needs of their child to contact our Occupational Therapy Service to discuss this further.”

Anyone who is able to help Elijah should contact Newlife on 01543 431444. To donate, visit the website at