A Barnstaple mum can now take her severely disabled daughter to the supermarket after a local store became the first in the country to get a unique disability shopping trolley. Julie Evett had been working with the store for months to try and find somethi
A Barnstaple mum can now take her severely disabled daughter to the supermarket after a local store became the first in the country to get a unique disability shopping trolley.
Julie Evett had been working with the store for months to try and find something suitable for her three-year-old daughter Rose, who suffers from an undiagnosed brain disorder which means she needs around the clock care.
The 30-year-old single mum appears with Rose in a powerful BBC One documentary next Tuesday (November 10) called When a Mother's Love is not Enough about the daily struggle families with severely disabled children face, of which supermarket trolleys are just one example.
None of the other trolleys available in Barnstaple were even remotely suitable and Julie had almost despaired of finding the answer until the persistence of Katie Southworth, Sainsbury's customer services manager at the Roundswell store, paid off.
The right trolley was eventually found in Germany by Sainsbury's supplier at Katie's request and the cost of the £1,400 prototype was met by the Sainsbury head office.
Now Julie can set off to the supermarket with all three of her daughters without worrying how she will manage and the shopping trips are a huge benefit to Rose.
"The stimulation for her at the store is great and she loves the chaos," said Julie.
"Rose can't see, so she is using all her other senses. She smiles at the checkout when she hears items being skimmed or smells the aromas in the bread aisle.
"Her brain is not growing so I have to stimulate her all the time to help her brain make new connections. On a practical basis I'd have to arrange child care if she was left at home. It would be too difficult, but at the end of the day she is still a little girl and needs to be out in society with her family and her sisters.
"I'm really grateful to Sainsbury's and it is all down to Katie's hard work and she is the one who has fought my corner."
Katie said: "I could see Julie's commitment and I wanted to do my best for Rose and other children like her.
"I didn't even know if there was anything like this trolley out there and it was only by luck that I spoke to someone who knew of this one."
Julie has set up a Facebook page and has already received plenty of interest from families nationwide keen to see more such trolleys, including those in Barnstaple who are looking forward to using it.
Any parents with disabled children who want to use the specialist trolley at Sainsbury's in Roundswell may do so by asking for it at the customer service desk near the store entrance.
Julie Evett will also be appearing on BBC One Breakfast News next Tuesday between 8.45-9.15am alongside children's charity campaigner Rosa Monckton.