Help for Daisy and her Family

New wetroom and bedroom will help Daisy’s independence –  and support her family too

Daisy is a 6-year-old child with profound disabilities. At three months old, she was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition called KCNA1 which causes severe epilepsy, skeletal issues, global development delay and emotional issues. Additionally, she needs to be ventilated via a tracheostomy 24/7.

The Axis Foundation was delighted to contribute £2,223.45 towards creating a downstairs bedroom and wet room to help Daisy to live safely and with greater independence at home.

Thanking the Foundation her mother, Fiona, said: “Thank you so much for the good news!”

Explaining the difference a downstairs bedroom and wetroom will make for Daisy, Fiona continued: “Daisy will be able to spend more time with her family instead of being confined to her upstairs bedroom where she needs humidified ventilation to make it easier for her to breathe when she is poorly.

“As Daisy is getting older it is making it harder to carry her up the stairs. We looked at installing a through floor lift but unfortunately Daisy’s bedroom is not big enough to allow this – and as she gets older she needs a bigger bed.

“We are extremely positive as a family and focus on the things we can do rather than the things we cannot do. Daisy’s story is a whirlwind from the day she became poorly to where we are at right now.”


Ipswich Community Playbus – Dennis

Transporting play to disadvantaged children

Ipswich Community Playbus transports the benefits of fun and educational play to disadvantaged children and families living in Ipswich. Maggie the current Playbus is an impressive 40 years old: she is retiring soon and putting her wheels up for a well-earned rest!

The Axis Foundation’s donation of £10,000 helps Ipswich Community Playbus convert a new Playbus –  Dennis –  into another amazing play space.

“This is wonderful news and so very much appreciated! Your donation will enable Dennis to take to the roads and carry on the Playbus legacy very soon. On behalf of all the children and families, the Trustees and staff thank you so very much” – Mandy Potter, Playbus Co-Ordinator

Facilities on board Dennis include a built-in slide, sand pit, new toilet and baby change area as well as a built-in generator which will serve the on- board lighting and heating, UV window film and carpet for the top deck play area.

More about Ipswich Community Playbus

The Ipswich Community Playbus brings the benefits of play into the homes of families who live in social housing and who may not have play areas nearby.

The staff on board the bus follow the Early Years Foundation Stage of the National Curriculum in planning various and different themes each term to engage young children and develop their learning skills, bringing families and communities together.They are also able to signpost families to relevant other services/groups/activities should they be experiencing difficulties including job security and health/ financial worries.

Read more about their work here


Two small children Kaiden Burman and Marla BurmanDisability

New bed for little Kaiden

Helping little boy with Dravet Syndrome – and his family

Axis’ Fleet Manager Taylor Burman applied to the Axis Foundation to acquire a specialist cot bed for his son Kaiden who suffers with Dravet Syndrome, a very rare and complex form of epilepsy.

Taylor told us: “We are always looking for ways on how keep Kaiden safe. He only sleeps about three hours a day and can be up all night. He needs monitoring systems constantly overnight. When we are at Demelza, he uses a specialist bed. It is electrically operated and has perspex panels and padding and is really great for him. So, I applied to the Foundation for help to buy something similar.”

The Trustees of the Axis Foundation were completely unanimous in their decision to support Taylor and his family and have made a donation of £11,000 to buy the bed.

Thanking the Foundation, Taylor said: “From the very day I started with Axis just under three years ago now, I’ve been supported by such a fantastic company. Axis is a company you want to stay with, there are no other companies like Axis, Axis is like a family, The Axis Family.

Taylor told us: “It was only two years ago, Kaiden caught Covid from hospital, at just one of his many visits, and due to his condition, we nearly lost him. It was extremely touch and go and unfortunately he had to be medically induced into coma. I remember ringing my manager at the time, David Crampton, and broke down in tears on the phone.

“The words and support I received from the board of directors, managers, colleagues and operatives were amazing. It was a tough time, but strangely that support helped us, helped Kaiden.

“I was later introduced to the Axis Foundation, constantly being told by [Foundation Founder, Axis CEO] John Hayes: ‘Taylor, the Foundation is your Foundation, use it.’

“I had always turned it down: my reasoning was, Axis does enough for me, and I wasn’t sure there is anything that could help Kaiden. I was WRONG!

“Kaiden started going to Demelza in Sittingbourne last year. We were extremely anxious about leaving him over night. He has no sense of danger at all. Our hospital consultants explained it like this: ‘If you put an item in fire, a normal person would keep away from the fire, but Kaiden would walk into the fire and sit in the fire to play with that item.’

“And because he also has epileptic seizures, it just wasn’t safe to have him in a normal bed. Demelza had a purpose-built specialist bed just for him, for children like him, something we have not seen or heard of. So I enquired with Demelza about the bed, the safety of the bed and most importantly, does Kaiden like it (he does!).

“When we were in the process of moving home, our wonderful [Foundation Trustee/Axis Divisional Finance Controller] Claire Pearce reached out to me asking if there is ANYTHING the Foundation could do for my family. The rest is history.

“My family and I would just like to thank the Foundation their support in providing the bed, it has taken a humongous amount of pressure off me and my wife. It’s very hard to put in words how thankful we are. Thank you!”

More about Kaiden

Kaiden, suffers with a disability called Dravet Syndrome, which is a rare and complex form of epilepsy. He requires 24/7 care at home and school and needs regular assistance at our charity partner Demelza’s hospice in Sittingbourne. Demelza’s home care team provide respite for the family too. including his sister Marla.

Because of related co-morbidities (including autism, mobility and sleep issues, low immunity and oxygen levels) and vulnerability to SUDEP (sudden unexplained death in epilepsy) Kaiden is also treated frequently at specialist hospitals including Evelina and Great Ormond Street as well as the family’s local hospital, Medway in Kent.

Up till now, he has slept in his parents’ room along  with all his vital equipment including Oxygen machine and bottles, medication, and seizure and oxygen monitoring systems.

As Kaiden, now five, grows and gets heavier it is increasingly hard to lift and carry him so the local council are re-homing the family to a larger home with hoists and lifts – and where he will have a room of his own.

And, thanks to the Axis Foundation, he now has a practical, safe cot too.



Burton Wheelchair Rugby Club

Gaining confidence through wheelchair rugby

Burton Wheelchair Rugby Club helps wheelchair-bound people enjoy the physical and mental benefits of a community team sport.

The Axis Foundation agreed to donate £3,650 to fund a new specialist wheelchair so more members can participate in the team sport, gaining independence, confidence and empowerment.

“That is brilliant news – thank you so much. Our heartfelt thanks to the Trustees” – Richard Williams, Fundraising Coordinator

Richard added: “Most of our members have suffered some form of trauma in their lives and lack confidence to continue feeling part of our community. We have already seen members who had given up hope join our club, be part of a team and feel whole again. We know there are hundreds of disabled members of our society who could join our club. Our plan is to expand the club to include junior members, so they don’t have to wait to become adults to be included.”

As well as supporting individuals’ wellbeing and health, Burton Wheelchair Rugby Club additionally engages with the local community to raise awareness of disability sport and also helps disabled people who are not permanently wheelchair bound too.

There’s more about the club which is based in Staffordshire, here


Lewisham Donation Hub

Supporting People in Lewisham

Lewisham Donation Hub provides food, homeware and essential items to local people including residents at Lewisham Park Towers where Axis is currently working.

The Axis Foundation Trustees were delighted to support Jill’s application in an area of London where we are highly visible and our donation will make a real impact: our £3,000 will purchase electrical equipment for the charity to distribute.

Axis staff member, Jill Pennell, put the charity forward for the donation and said: “I’ve been supporting the Hub for the last couple of years – taking clothes, footwear, bedding etc on their Sunday donation day (1-4pm by Lewisham Fire Station). Knowing my unwanted items are going to those who have nothing – or very little not only makes me feel good but is an incentive to get rid of things that I don’t wear or use any more. They’re always short of everything as the demand is so high – my friends are used to me hassling them to have a clear out for things I can take there!”

“Lewisham Donation Hub is so grateful for the £3,000 grant from the Axis Foundation! We believe we can reduce household costs by providing low-power / efficient electricals (particularly microwaves, rice cookers, slow cookers, kettles and blenders) to people suffering hardship. These items help families and individuals to live more comfortably at home, and avoid relying upon ad-hoc meals from community services (or spending limited money on ready-to-eat foods)” – Magdalena Szlenkier, Trustee and Volunteer, Lewisham Donation Hub

There’s more here


The Thomley Hall Centre

Enhancing the lives and experiences of people with a disability

The Thomley Hall Centre is a lifelong learning and leisure centre which exists to enhance the lives and experiences of people with a disability, their families and the wider community. Thomley enhances the well-being of disabled people through delivering activities that helps develop the skills they need to run their day-to-day lives.

The Axis Foundation donated £10,000 so Thomley can build an eco-friendly Interactive Water Feature (IWF): a safe, fun and accessible place where people with and without disabilities in Buckinghamshire can enjoy water-based play.

Ewan Shinton, Thomley’s Chief Executive, told us: “A huge thank you to Axis, the interactive features of the IWF will offer experiences that are a huge amount of fun and developmentally important for our visitors. The majority of the people who visit Thomley are children with autism who have difficulties processing and integrating sensory input. The multi-sensory experiences provided by the IWF and water will be uniquely beneficial for them. We expect the IWF to quickly become our most-popular attraction and be used by everyone who visits Thomley.”

There’s more about The Thomley Hall Centre here


Ykids Children’s Charity

Improving lives and futures of young people at risk

Ykids improves the lives and futures of local young people at risk through mentoring, projects, parent support groups and arts initiatives.

The Axis Foundation’s donation of £3,000 to the Bootle-based charity helped them refurbish Kingsley and Co, a steampunk-Victorian, explorer-themed children’s community bookshop, which is part of YKids’ literacy project to encourage young people to fall in love with books, storytelling and reading.

We are delighted with the support from the Axis Foundation which will help us to refurbish our new and bigger shop Kingsley and Co, enabling us to change even more lives through encouraging children to read and engage with story – Claire Morgans, Founder


Claire added: “Ykids’ vision is to raise ‘World Changers’ – young people who believe in themselves and have the skills, creativity and opportunities to make a difference in their own lives and in the world around them. Ultimately, we want them to grow up in an environment where they feel safe and loved and lead happy and productive lives.”

“Finding a place that two children with a huge age gap to enjoy is difficult, but we had that place in Kingsley. A place that felt like coming home to family. They helped me through some really rough times, more so than they probably even know” – a parent

Here’s more about YKids and Kingsley and Co

Small child sitting with packages of pyjamasCare

Children’s Hospital Pyjamas

Sweet Dreams for children in Hospital

Croydon-based Children’s Hospital Pyjamas collects and distributes brand new pyjamas to hospitals, hospices, hospital at-home teams and women’s refuges in the UK.

The Axis Foundation’s donation of £3,000 helped them purchase pyjamas for some of the 40 such organisations within the M25. At an average cost of £8 per pair, this means 375 children will have sweeter dreams in their new pyjamas!

“Thank you so much for your generous donation. Last year, the charity spent over £40,000 on pyjamas alone and, in order for us to continue to supply to these 238 locations, plus any new requests, we rely on the kindness and support of people like yourselves” – Ann Dunkley,  Operations Manager

Ann told us: “Children may arrive in A&E having had their clothing damaged, or in situations when there hasn’t been time to pack essentials. They may have their own pyjamas but need a fresh pair due to illness or accident. While in refuges, children may have fled a dangerous situation and might not have brought any clothing. Our pyjamas have also been used to dress children who have passed away, so their families can see them looking comfortable and at peace.”

To further support this great cause, Axis’ Administrator Danielle Glindon, used her Volunteering Day to help Children’s Hospital Pyjamas!

There is more about their work here


Sussex Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus

Helping young adults with complex disability

Sussex Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (SASBAH) provides lifelong support for over 1,000 children and adults affected by spina bifida, hydrocephalus and related disabilities.

The Axis Foundation donated £1,760 to purchase eight precision cutters for members of Saspire, the charity’s work experience and training project for young adults with complex physical and learning disabilities.

“This is really wonderful news, thank you so much. New precision cutters will enable the Saspire team to fulfil their contracts with local businesses, through our accessible and supported workshop. Saspire supported work experience enables people with complex disabilities to gain confidence, learn new skills and increase independence. These new machines will be a tremendous boost” – Laura Cecil, Trusts Fundraiser

Laura told us: “SASBAH’s mission is to enable people affected by physical and learning disabilities to lead the lives they want to. We do this by providing lifelong support to over 1,000 people through a range of joined-up services including local support groups; advice and advocacy; a youth club; residential breaks and community engagement. We work across Sussex to offer socially inclusive activities such as meet-ups, exercise and art workshops, lunches and excursions, and we have Saspire, our popular and unique work experience project.”

There’s more about SASBAH’s work here


Bexhill Men’s Shed

Sharing skills and friendship

Bexhill Men’s Shed provides a space to combat loneliness and isolation. Here men (and women) can access tools, workbenches, skills and opportunities to make and mend in the company of others. Whilst using their practical skills and learning new ones, they make new friends.

The Axis Foundation was pleased to donate £2,000 to Bexhill Men’s Shed to ensure they remain self-sustaining, available and accessible to all.

“How delighted we are at Bexhill Men’s Shed to have been awarded this grant from Axis Foundation. We are grateful that you are helping us in this way. The money donated will certainly go towards ensuring that we are able to become self-sustaining by the end of this year, which is our aim” – Derek Merkl, Chairman/Trustee

More about Bexhill Men’s Shed

Bexhill Men’s Shed provides a workshop space where men (and women) in Bexhill can use and share their practical skills and life experiences to support each other, working side by side and producing and repairing items.The service users here have made Infant School Play equipment, garden benches/tables, Hedgehog houses and many other items to raise funds to remain self-sustaining.

There are 1,000 Men’s Sheds in the United Kingdom. They aim to help alleviate the high rates of suicide, depression, and loneliness amongst elder men.

There’s more here