A CHRISTCHURCH family is appealing for a “local hero” to help their beloved disabled young daughter stand and walk.

Five-year-old Mia Cristofoli urgently needs a specialist standing frame so she can take part in more group activities at school and play with her twin sister Ella at home.

Despite the family fundraising for equipment over the years Mia, who has cerebral palsy quadriplegia, has recently had a growth spurt rendering a lot of her specialist equipment inadequate.

Mia’s mum Gemma Cristofoli said: “Both of Mia’s hips are dislocated so having access to a standing frame is important because it helps her hips to stay in the correct position and provides stretch to her muscles which prevents contractures.

“Also, standing instead of sitting or lying down helps Mia’s digestion, so it’s really important.

“A standing frame which fits Mia would be so important for using at Victoria School in Poole, which Mia attends.

“She loves it there and the school is so amazing.

“They really encourage group activities and like the children to be in their standers for social and learning activities.

“Mia has to share so can’t always fully take part.

“She loves using it.

“Because Mia has to use a buggy for mobility most of the time, it makes her really happy to have a different perspective.”

Gemma added: “Having Ella and Mia is like having an older and younger child even though they’re the same age. Ella is so helpful and good with Mia, its lovely to see them together.”

Gemma and her husband Martin applied to UK children’s charity Newlife for help with the equipment, which costs £1,794.

But due to increased demand for the charity’s resources, CEO Sheila Brown is calling on local heroes to help them raise the money.

If you think you can help, the Newlife Community Fundraising Team can be contacted on 0800 988 4640.

Any money raised in excess of Mia’s needs will be used to help other disabled and terminally ill children in the county.