Disability

Gift of freedom and mobility 

Chloe O Donnell witnessed the devastating effects of isolation and loss of mobility on local resident Ashley Clarke.

Chloe is a Site Manager at Axis Europe. She and her team were carrying out major repairs and maintenance works on the west London estate where Ashley lives: once she had seen Ashley’s plight, assessed the situation and established what would help Ashley most, Chloe applied to the Axis Foundation asking for help.

As a result of Chloe’s recommendations, the Axis Foundation bought Ashley a power-assisted wheelchair.  Axis also fitted new automatic doors to accommodate the new chair.

Thanking the Foundation Chloe said: ‘“Ashley is obviously thrilled and has asked me to pass on his immeasurable gratitude to all involved in the process.”

More about our donation

Ashley Clarke is a severely disabled gentleman. He has severe arthritis in both hands, is paralyzed down his left side and has also had his left leg amputated.

Ashley’s carers place him in his wheelchair from his bed every morning, but his disabilities (he cannot use his hands) mean he can only move the wheelchair using his right foot. He has been housebound for three years, and spent most of that time stuck in one room.

As a result of an application by Chloe O Donnell, Axis Site Manager, the Axis Foundation donated a power-assisted wheel chair to Ashley. And we also fitted new automatic front door: at the press of a button or fob, the door opens so Ashley can easily manoeuvre himself and the chair in and out of his home.

Thanking the Foundation Chloe said: ‘“Ashley is obviously thrilled and has asked me to pass on his immeasurable gratitude to all involved in the process.

“Ashley has reiterated how life-changing this is: the new chair enables him to move freely around the house and go to the local park/shop/pub. It also means he can take himself to and from appointments at the local hospital which is a 10 minute ride away in on the new chair so he doesn’t have to wait (sometimes up to six hours) for an NHS car to take him home.

“He said he’d got so used to shuffling round using his leg to move his wheelchair that he hadn’t quite realised how difficult his life had become: having the power-assisted chair is just amazing and makes everything so easy.

“The first thing he wanted to do with his new found freedom was to treat his friend, who’s been helping care for him, to a Sunday lunch.

“I also wanted to say thank you again to the Axis Foundation for the opportunity to change someone’s life and I hope the case study on this encourages other members of staff to apply.”

 

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Little girl and sister lying on rug togetherDisability

New Garden for Little Isabella

Little Isabella was diagnosed with a severe brain malformation when she was just three months old.

Axis Resident Liaison Manager Cathy Weedon, who asked the Foundation for help told us:

“Isabella loves to feel the wind blowing, it’s one of the things that makes her smile the biggest. For her to simply enjoy the sunshine in a lovely finished garden would be a miracle.”

And we were delighted to support Cathy’s application to remodel the family garden so that Isabella can enjoy her outside space. The Axis Foundation and supply chain partner City Plumbing Community Fund donated £6,550 to remodel Isabella’s family garden. Axis people in our Sittingbourne office will use their volunteering days to do the work.

Isabella’s story

Isabella was born in November 2013. Her family noticed soon after that she never cried or expressed emotions. They were deeply concerned despite being reassured by doctors that she was just a ‘good baby’. After suffering seizures, and in obvious pain, Isabella went to  Evelina Children’s Hospital for tests and urgent medical care.

Here she was diagnosed with a severe brain malformation called ‘subcortical band heteretopia’ which meant that she would not progress beyond her baby years. Her physical disabilities would be life-altering.

The family moved to a new home to accommodate caring for Isabella. They proceeded to make adaptations including levelling downstairs floors and the garden, adding a small extension and making all the rooms wheelchair accessible. And as Isabella grew and became heavier. they moved to a bungalow. But Isabella needed hoists, an adapted bath and bed, wider doorways and a ramp up to the front door to list just a few adaptations.

Local authority grants would not cover the entire costs and shortage of labour and COVID-19 meant severe delays and rises in costs. Isabella’s Nanna even sold her own home to fund the work.

Their main wish was that Isabella would be able to enjoy the garden  But the garden space and driveway were tiered and unsuitable for manoeuvring Isabella’s wheelchair. We are especially delighted that our donation will help Isabella enjoy her outside space which our volunteers will create.

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Disability

Disabled Sailors Association (DSA)

The Axis Foundation’s £10,000 helps Disabled Sailors Association (DSA) purchase anew state-of-the-art dinghy so that more disabled people can enjoy sailing.

We will be christening our specially-designed dinghy when she is built and ready to launch!

“We are very grateful to the Axis Foundation for their very generous grant, enabling us to build another innovative dinghy to replace and increase our fleet. Thanks to the generosity of charitable foundations like the Axis Foundation we have now funded seventeen new dinghies that cannot capsize or sink, due to their unique foam-filled hulls” – Mike Wood MBE, Chairman and Founder

Mike continues: “Some will be sailed on the Solent by disabled people with every disability, along with their carers and family members. Others will be loaned out to families with a disabled member, who can make use of them but would be unable to afford to purchase their own dinghies. The dinghies also help young disabled people to achieve Royal Yacht Association qualifications.”

More about Disabled Sailors Association

Unique in the sailing world the Disabled Sailors Association (DSA) helps disabled people enjoy the benefits of sailing in a unique fleet of specially-designed yachts and dinghies.

25 years of research and development have enabled them to innovate a state-of-the-art dinghy design, which caters for all disabilities and is equally appealing to able-bodied carers and family members.

Over 40,000 people have sailed the yachts since the charity was founded in 1993. So the DSA needs to replace craft to maintain safety compliance and increase their fleet so even more disabled people can enjoy the sport of sailing.

The charity sails from Port Solent Marina Office, Lock Approach, Portsmouth.

There is more about DSA here.

 

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Disability

Perkisound

Recreation and music for people on the autistic spectrum.

Perkisound is a recreation centre which is particularly suitable for people on the autistic spectrum. Their outstanding music garden features bright and colourful tubular bells, cowbells, conga drums and a giant marimba.

The Axis Foundation donated £3,000 to help purchase a Duo Metallophone for the musical garden. A metallophone is like a xylophone, but with metal bars instead of wood. Up to four people can play and enjoy playing the Duo.

“We are so grateful for this donation from the Axis Foundation. The Duo Metallophone is a stunning piece and has really completed the outdoor music area. We believe this is now the best outdoor music garden in the UK. Families and specialised settings really benefit from outdoor activities within this safe environment and we look forward to welcoming 1000s of visitors over the year, enjoying exclusive use of the site, improving skills and enjoying safe recreation time” – Susie Perkins, Co Founder

More About Perkisound

Tim and Susie Perkins founded Perkisound in 2017. They are both professional musicians and teachers. And they were inspired to start up the centre by their autistic son who is now a teenager who plays piano every day.

Situated in a semi-rural 2.5 acre site, close to Birmingham, Coventry and Nuneaton, Perkisound aims to promote general health and wellbeing, improve choice of leisure activity, reduce stress and loneliness and increase social networking for carers and families with additional needs. It currently supports 2,800 people. Their only requirement is that one member of the family or group booking a session here has additional needs.

More here

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Cycling club for disabled peopleDisability

Limited Edition Cycling Club 

Helping disabled people access the many benefits of cycling.

The charity enhances disabled people’s lives by ensuring that disabled people and their families and carers can access the physical, emotional, practical and social benefits of cycling.

The Axis Foundation has donated £2,952 to help Limited Edition Cycling Club purchase a second container to store their bikes and equipment. The new container will additionally help the charity expand their range of bikes. And so they can offer more sessions to another 50+ riders.

“The container has made all the difference to our club. It means that we can store the bikes safely and not damage them by having to pile them on top of each other. We have received funding for new trikes and bikes but were not able to buy them as the single container we were using was filled to capacity. Now we can add to our range of bikes and so offer a wider choice to our members. We can increase our membership as well as adding more enjoyment for everyone.

“This second container has also made a huge difference to the volunteers. It is easier and safer to unpack the bikes at the beginning of the session and then store them at the end. I truly believe that we may have lost volunteers if the loading and unloading had not become easier.

“So, having happy volunteers means the club will continue and we will be able to support a group of cyclists and their families that we all feel really committed to. It has made more of a difference that you can possibly imagine” – Nicky Jarrett, Co-ordinator

More about Limited Edition Cycling Club

Limited Edition Cycling Club runs a pool of specially adapted bikes, including recumbents, trikes, handcycles, wheelchair bikes and more so that disabled people can enjoy the joys of riding a bike. They also offer standard two-wheelers so members and their families and carers can enjoy riding together. Trained cycling coaches and volunteers support all riders.

Members enjoy safe riding sessions in a traffic-free environment at Sutcliffe Park, SE9 where there are also disabled toilets and a cafeteria. The charity is based in Eltham in south east London. More here

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Young child having swimming lessons with Level WaterDisability

Level Water

Bringing long-term benefits of swimming to children with disabilities

Level Water trains swimming teachers to deliver specialist swimming lessons for children with disabilities.

Our donation of £1,250 to Level Water will fund Teacher Training Workshops in Shoreham, Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill in Sussex; and in Tonbridge and Dover in Kent.

“It’s great to be working with the Axis Foundation in Sussex and Kent… you are helping us to provide thousands of one-to-one lessons for children who otherwise may never learn to swim. After a year with the swimming pools shut, the children we support are excited to improve their swimming and to learn new skills both in the pool and out” – Ian Thwaites, CEO, Level Water

More about Level Water

Level Water, based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, supports children with disabilities to access a lifetime of sport, to develop physical skills, become socially included and build self-esteem and resilience. Specifically, Level Water provides specialist one-to-one swimming lessons for children aged 4-11 with physical or sensory disabilities. A qualified Level Two teacher delivers each lesson socially distanced.

Once they have learnt to swim, children can move to mainstream swimming lessons where Level Water teachers will carry on supporting them.

Therefore children with disabilities can continue to swim without barriers for the rest of their lives. And so they gain the long term benefits of mobility, raised self-esteem and greater resilience that swimming brings them too.

 More here

 

 

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Accessible platform with wheelchair users fishing BDAADisability

BDAA – 2nd donation

Providing access for disabled people to joys of fishing

Disabled people are excluded from fishing by poor design, not their disability. Many mobility and visually-impaired people have difficulties even getting near the water’s edge. So, our donation of £3,450 to British Disabled Angling Association (BDAA) will help fund the creation and installation of an approved, bespoke, accessible group fishing platform in the Midlands.

“The Trustees and I would like to offer a huge thank you for the generosity of the Axis Foundation. Your grant has allowed us to provide accessible fishing platforms ensuring disabled people will be safe when fishing. The accessible fishing platforms with safety features help individuals and groups like our successful Disabilities Schools or Heroes Veterans.

“Your grant has ensured that the public can see first-hand the commitment we place on design and accessibility allowing more disabled children to participate alongside non-disabled people helping bridge social divides. We could not do this without the generosity of the Axis Foundation” –  Terry Moseley, Founder, BDAA

More about accessible platforms for disabled people

An accessible fishing platform with stop-rails, hand rails and anti-slip strips allows disabled people safe access to the water and to the joys of fishing. Adapted fishing platforms have proved a huge hit with disabled anglers and fisheries. The group platforms, such as the one our donation will help fund, particularly benefit angling clubs, SEN schools or residential centres. In addition, an adapted platform has a long-lasting legacy and will benefit thousands of disabled people during its lifetime.

Benefits of angling and the BDAA

Angling helps improve the health and wellbeing of many disabled people. The sport encourages access to outdoor activities and, most importantly, offers the chance to socialise with others in the local community. As such, angling can change the lives of disabled people. And the British Disabled Angling Association (BDAA) offers inclusive fishing opportunities to disabled people of all ages and disability. The charity provides adapted equipment, disabled platforms and access, services, information, support and practical advice on all issues encompassing angling.

Due to COVID-19, fishing became an even more popular activity leading to increased requests for BDAA support. So, in 2021, BDAA  is working with fisheries and angling venues to improve their disabled facilities making them more accessible, safer and practical so that more disabled adults and children can get involved and have enjoyable day out with a friend or family. There’s more about BDAA here.

The Axis Foundation has previously donated to BDAA’s Junior Schools Fishing Project. More here

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young boy on dry ski slope TAG adaptive snow sportsDisability

TAG – 2nd donation

Providing adaptive snowsports for young people with disability

TAG Youth Club in west London aims to empower and optimise the potential of young people with disability. And TAG’s Adaptive Snowports programme offers disabled people the thrills and excitement of snowsports.

The Axis Foundation’s donation of £4789 will help TAG purchase a Mountain Man Sit Ski, a transfer sling and a vacuum cushion for postural support for wheelchair users.

‘Thank you so much to everyone at Axis and to those involved in the Axis Foundation for the kind gift. This has enabled us to purchase the bi ski and postural supports which means that no one will be excluded from taking part in this exciting sport. Skiing does more than just provide the benefits of being more active: it also supports people with their mental health and social skills and increases sensory stimulation”
Giles Hobart, Lead Youth Worker, TAG

Case study: A TAG parent says

“My son doesn’t excel at sports and has struggled taking part in physical activities due to his disabilities. He loves the sensory feeling of speed and the wind on his face, so giving him the opportunity to sit ski will help change his outlook in life by providing him with a sport that captures his personality.”

Adaptive snowsports for young people with disability

The 2018 Paralympic Winter Games was officially the most successful in Paralympics GB’s history: snowsports athletes brought home an incredible seven medals. Following their inspiration, many more organisations seek to provide adaptive snowsports (skiing and snowboarding) for people with disability.

More about TAG

TAG, based in West London, provides young people with a safe, accessible, well-equipped environment and the opportunity to participate in personal and social development activities including arts, drama, music and sport. Fully-qualified adapted skiing and snowboarding instructors from Disability Snowsports UK deliver the snowsports lessons for TAG. Read more about TAG here.

The Axis Foundation previously donated £5,000 to TAG to fund an interactive sensory system at the Youth Club – more here.

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Gardening for people with disabilityDisability

FarmAbility

Transporting people with disabilities to beneficial farm-based tasks and outdoor activities

The Axis Foundation’s donation of £7,000 to FarmAbility will provide minibus, taxi or car transport for a year to ensure co-farmers (people with learning disabilities, many also with autism) can get to FarmAbility’s outreach partner farms, landed estates or gardens in a COVID-safe way.

Here co-farmers, many of whom are who are almost entirely excluded from workplaces and from employment, will engage in an outdoor, purposeful day sessions focusing on their needs and ability levels.

 “We know from our eight years’ experience that a regular weekly outdoor, active session involving practical, farm-based tasks has a lasting, positive impact on the mental and physical health of people with disabilities. So, a HUGE thank you to the Axis Foundation for the donation: it means a great amount to us – particularly during these challenging times. Working day-to-day with co-farmers and the team I know that being able to support the transport needs of co-farmers and staff will have a positive effect on our programme” – Jason Warner, Programme Manager, FarmAbility

More about FarmAbility

FarmAbility enables co-farmers (people with learning disabilities, many also with autism) to develop skills and competencies for purposeful living through participation in programmes on farms, estates and growing spaces. FarmAbility is based in Oxfordshire and runs programmes primarily from the Blenheim Estate in Woodstock and on a number of ‘outreach’ partner farms and growing spaces around the county. These include: FAI Farms (Wytham), Fair Close Community Farm (Wolvercote), FarmEd (Shipton-u-Wychwood) and Harcourt Arboretum.

FarmAbility’s programme is run by experienced, committed Programme Leaders who work with small groups of co-farmers with an approach that focuses more on ‘enabling’ than ‘supporting’ and which is informed by occupational therapy. They offer co-farmers a changing seasonal schedule of farm and gardening activities, guided by personal choice and individual needs, which includes activities such as vegetable gardening and orchard management, an organic egg enterprise, woodworking, basic animal husbandry, woodland work (coppicing, tree planting) and seasonal farm tasks.

More here 

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Fatory of Freedom Power ChairsDisability

Freedom Power Chairs

Donation to Freedom Power Chairs funds bespoke power wheelchair for cerebral palsy sufferer

‘H’ is a 65-year-old man who is severely disabled through cerebral palsy. The Axis Foundation’s donation of £1,750 to Freedom Power Chairs will help the charity design and adapt a power chair to H’s near foetal position posture, with a joystick adapted for use by his foot. The chair will feature the supportive and contoured seating ‘H’ requires along with adapted footrests and controls.

With his new chair H can enjoy activities independently. The new power chair will also greatly help his carers who have to lift him from his bed to his chair.

“The Trustees of Freedom Powerchairs are most grateful to have received financial support from the Axis Foundation to enable us to provide a much-needed special powerchair for a client “H” with Cerebral Palsy. It now gives him the freedom to travel; to shop, meet friends, take his companion dog for a walk, and to get on buses to visit other charities where he is himself a volunteer” – Martin Osment, Founder and Trustee, Freedom Power Chairs

More about Freedom Power Chairs

Martin Osment, Freedom Power Chairs Founder and Trustee, is an experienced engineer. As a disabled person, his own lived experience showed that ‘off the peg’ wheelchair solutions were often not adequate, particularly for people with complex mobility issues. So, he used his skills and experience to design a powerchair which met his individual needs. From here he founded Freedom Power Chairs.

At the Sussex-based charity’s workshop, Freedom Power Chairs design produce and supply individually-tailored power wheelchairs at affordable prices. In addition, they adapt manual chairs, scooters and other mobility aids, provide a repair and maintenance service and modify existing chairs to meet the needs of individual clients. Their Community Support Mobile Workshop helps the wider community. They also provide a rental service. By using their recovered, refurbished and adapted stock Freedom Power Chairs provide custom built powerchairs at a fraction of the price of a new one. More here

 

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