Staff member Melanie Reynolds, lost god daughter Lucy to Niemann-Pick type C in 2007, applied to the Northumbria Police Charities Trust for a donation
Kind-hearted officers have donated a number of noise-cancelling headphones to a local charity who support families with a rare genetic condition.
Washington-based Niemann-Pick UK (NPUK) supports individuals and families affected by Niemann-Pick disease, a rare and devastating condition which affects the body’s ability to metabolise fats causing progressive deterioration.
Police staff member Melanie Reynolds lost her god daughter, Lucy, of Washington, to the life-limiting condition in 2007 when she was just four-year-old, and has helped fundraise for the small charity ever since.
She recently made an application to the Northumbria Police Charities Trust, which supports a wide range of community groups and vulnerable individuals across the Force area, asking for a helping hand.
Her wish was granted as the Trust donated a number of specialist noise-cancelling headphones to help families-in need in both Northumbria and across the entire UK.
“The charity provides such crucial support to children and families who are affected by this cruel condition,” Melanie said.
“The easiest way to explain it is to liken it to Alzheimer’s, due to dementia being one of the many terrible symptoms – except this disease affects not just adults but also babies and children.
“They have extensive specialist needs and the charity does what it can to spread funding between research into new therapies – as there is currently no cure – and practical support for those in need.
“Those affected can suffer a host of symptoms including sensitivities to noise, which can cause a lot of confusion and distress.
“I therefore thought it would be a dream come true if the Charities Trust could purchase a few pairs of specialist headphones as a small way of helping those who live with this rare condition.”
Representatives from NPUK were recently invited into Millbank Police Station, in South Shields, to receive the newly-acquired equipment.
There they were met by Superintendent Barrie Joisce and community engagement officer Nichola Jewels, who were delighted to show their support.
Supt Joisce said: “As a Force, we care deeply about the communities we serve and the Northumbria Police Charities Trust exists to help groups and individuals in need.
“It was a pleasure to meet with those at Niemann-Pick UK and learn more about the condition and their valuable work in the local community.”
The charity expressed their gratitude to Northumbria Police for the kind donation.
NPUK communications officer John Lee Taggart said: “At Niemann-Pick UK we are dedicated to supporting the individuals and families affected by the rare genetic condition, Niemann-Pick disease.
“Like the large majority of rare diseases, most people have never even heard of it – and as a result our charity receives no government funding.
“To continue our support service we rely entirely on voluntary grants, fundraisers, and kind donations such as those provided last month by Northumbria Police.
“On behalf of everyone at NPUK I want to say a huge thank you to the whole team; your donation will make a massive difference.”
To find out more NPUK, visit https://www.npuk.org/niemann-pick-disease/.