George Bownes with his Jenx Monkey Stander image

The mother of a 22-month-old boy from Nottinghamshire who lives with cerebral palsy has praised a “lifeline” emergency equipment service provided by a leading Sheffield-based postural support specialist.

George Bownes, from Worksop, was born early at 23 weeks and as a result of several associated complications, he subsequently developed cerebral palsy.

The youngster cannot stand or sit unaided. However, his mum Hanna has said that he now “sees the world from a different angle” after the family were able to rent from postural support specialist Jiraffe.

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Jiraffe announced its Emergency Posture Provision initiative last month to give families access to urgently needed support equipment, offering immediate assistance to some of the most vulnerable children and adults in society during the coronavirus crisis.

Hanna said that “all her Christmases came at once” when she found out that she was able to rent a Monkey Stander from Jiraffe for her son to use at home.

“Renting the stander for George has been like a lifeline for us,” she commented. “Due to the Coronavirus, everything was on hold meaning George was not going to get any support in progressing for months. I was so upset that he was going to miss out on so many crucial opportunities which he deserved.

“When I found out that we could rent a stander from Jiraffe, it was like all of my Christmases had come at once. George loves it and he stands tall and proud – it lets him see the world from a different angle instead of being laid on the floor all of the time.”

The Monkey Stander is a prone standing system which is designed for young children. It securely adjusts to a variety of angles to gradually build a child’s tolerance to standing as part of a wider therapy programme and provides thoracic and pelvic support and flexible leg positioning.

George Bownes with his Jenx Monkey Stander image

After George was supported with emergency access to his Monkey Stander, Hanna now hopes that more children can benefit from Jiraffe’s new scheme.

“I think Jiraffe should continue with the scheme they’ve set up – it’s amazing!” said Hanna. “I think it’s great to work as directly with families as possible, as some families can find it really hard to get support in moving forward with their children’s individual needs.”

Richard Harvey, National Clinical Training Manager at Jiraffe, said: “We’re delighted for George and his family after his Jenx Monkey Stander granted him a renewed sense of freedom.

“Both from a physical and mental health perspective, good postural support management at home is absolutely vital to a child’s development – it can be quite easy for children with postural support issues to feel cut-off.

“Our Emergency Posture Provision scheme is offering immediate assistance to those in desperate need of postural care. We want to support as many people and services as we possibly can during this crisis.”

The Jiraffe team is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Jenx Monkey Stander in 2020. The specialist standing frame was first manufactured in 1995 as part of an integrated range of products offering young children early access to support in every position. Early postural support for children with disabilities reduces pain, gives children more opportunities and significantly reduces the risk of bone deformities as they grow.

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