A SCHOOLGIRL with a rare condition has received a new wheelchair thanks to a charity partnership.

Beth Selwood from Caversham relies on a powered wheelchair to help her get about.

The 10-year-old has a form of muscular dystrophy, which affects all of the muscles in her body, including her heart, lungs and eyes.

Having outgrown her old chair, she desperately needed a new model to help maintain her independence.

Her mother Caroline said: "The new chair will give Beth the support she needs and will slow down the deterioration of her spine.

"She will need surgery eventually, but hopefully this will be limited to just one operation when she finishes growing, rather than multiple surgeries, because she hasn’t had the right support.”

Young Beth had benefitted from £16,000 funding to purchase the new chair, thanks to a partnership between Marks and Spencers (M&S) and Newlife.

Without her powered chair, Beth would have to use a manual chair and rely on an adult to push her around.

Caroline believes this could have had a considerable impact on her daughter’s state of mind.

She added: “Beth has recently started at a new specialist school that will help her learn the skills she needs for life as an adult.

"Having this powered chair will give her the best possible chance to reach her full potential.”

M&S has worked with the charity Newlife for the last 11 years, donating products to help those in need.

Beth suffers from scoliosis, a condition which affects the spine, and so continuing to use the smaller charit would have put further strain on her body.

Sheila Brown OBE, Chief Executive of Newlife charity, added: “Our partnership with M&S benefits hundreds of children and their families.

"It is very encouraging to see the efforts of M&S in helping to improve the lives of disabled and terminally-ill children within the local community and across the UK.

"Equipment that costs hundreds to several thousands of pounds really can transform lives.

"We are very grateful to everyone involved and would encourage other groups and individuals to keep fundraising to help us make a difference.”