Express & Star

Mum of girl with rare condition campaigning for supermarkets to have accessible trolleys

A mother whose daughter has a rare neurological disorder is campaigning for supermarkets to have at least one accessible shopping trolley for children with additional needs.

Emma Bowers and Luke Mills with their two-year-old daughter, Maeve Mills, who has a rare neurological condition. Emma and Luke are campaigning for supermarkets to invest in a special trolley for children with additional needs.

Maeve Mills from Cradley Heath lives with a condition called Angelman Syndrome, which affects around one in every 20,000 births.

Characteristic features of her condition include delayed development, severe learning difficulties, epilepsy, little or no speech, and issues with movement and balance.

Although two-year-old Maeve has a normal life expectancy, she will require support throughout her life.

Maeve’s mother, Emma Bowers, who works as a teacher at special needs school The Orchard School in Oldbury, has started a campaign for every supermarket to have at least one GoTo shopping trolley available. Emma said: “Despite Maeve being non-verbal, she is incredibly sociable and loves interacting with people through smiles and gestures. One of her favourite things to do is to go shopping. and she has all of the supermarket symbols in her communication book!

“As she is getting older and bigger, this is becoming an increasingly difficult task. Maeve cannot yet sit unaided so she uses a specialist seat called a GoTo which fits inside a regular shopping trolley. We carry this seat with us in the car wherever go.

“To get Maeve into this seat, both myself and Maeve’s dad, Luke, must be there as she needs to be lifted in and fastened safely in position.

“This is impossible to do alone and is becoming increasingly more difficult as Maeve gets closer to the 15kg limit of the trolley.