Disability

Perkisound

Providing 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. Since its installation in March 2022 the Duo has become one of Perkisound’s most  popular pieces.

“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

Second donation

In 2023, the Trustees of the Axis Foundation agreed to a further donation to Perkisound. Our new award of £3,000 will provide handmade interior woodwork (planters, benches and tables) for The Butterfly Barn at Perkisound.

The Butterfly Barn is a new polytunnel, and, featuring nany colourful flowers and plants, will be home to many butterflies.and will provide a sensorily stimulating,  educational and therapeutic experience for visitors to Perkisound. It is scheduled to open in 2024. The Butterfly has been selected as a symbol by some autism organisations as It inspires thoughts of change from chrysalis to butterfly, and represents the beauty of diversity and continued development.

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

Swimming for children with disability

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

British Disabled Angling Association

Helping disabled people enjoy fishing

In three separate donations, the Axis Foundation has helped The British Disabled Angling Association (BDAA) offer fishing opportunities to disabled children, young people and adults across the Midlands.

Electric reels

In 2023, we donated £5597 to purchase 20 electric reels (fishing reels and rod harnesses) as part of the adaptive equipment BDAA requires to deliver their projects.

“The British Disabled Angling Association (BDAA)would like to say a huge thank you for the generosity of the Axis Foundation’s latest donation of £5597. This has allowed the BDAA charity to purchase 20 specially adapted motorised touch button controlled fishing reels for people of all ages with disabilities to take up fishing for the first time or get back into fishing after a life changing event. These newly developed reels can be operated using only one hand making them ideal for stroke survivors and people with coordination difficulties.

“The BDAA’s overall aim is to enable disabled individuals to participate fully in angling, removing barriers and providing the necessary support and equipment to ensure a positive fishing experience. Your donation will go a long way in ensuring that individuals have the necessary tools to participate” – Troy Chadwick, BDAA Operations Manager

Fishing platforms

BDAA points out that many mobility and visually-impaired people have difficulties getting near the water’s edge. So, our earlier (2021) donation of £3,450 helped fund the creation and installation of an approved, bespoke, accessible group fishing platform.

“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

Junior Schools Fishing Project

Our 2020 donation of £3,320 helped BDAA develop their BDAA Junior Schools Fishing Project This is the first scheme of its kind in the UK and will help hundreds of disabled children and young people benefit from fishing.

“The Junior School’s disability project has been a long-time milestone for the BDAA. Having such great support and generosity from the Axis Foundation has made this ambition a reality. Hundreds of children, teachers and families have benefited directly from this pilot project and we hope they will continue enjoying fishing in adult life. The funding has provided essential training for teachers and volunteers, as well as clothing, adaptive fishing equipment, transport costs and independence for the students. They now have an additional skill they never knew they could achieve through fishing” – BDAA founder Terry Moseley

More about BDAA

BDAA offers fishing opportunities for disabled children, young people and adults across the Midlands. 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. Angling can change the lives of disabled people. BDAA offers inclusive fishing opportunities to disabled people of all ages and disability. And the charity provides adapted equipment, disabled platforms and access, services, information, support and practical advice on all issues encompassing angling.

 “I love to be outside. I can now hold a rod all by myself and have also learned how to be a good fisherman. I like to go fishing with my friends, and I think I will be a really good fisherman when I’m bigger” – Harry Bowen, Penn Hall School fishing club

There’s more about BDAA here.

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young boy on dry ski slope TAG adaptive snow sportsDisability

TAG

Two donations support young people with disability.

The Axis Foundation has made two donations to TAG Youth Club to support their work empowering and optimising the potential of young people with disability.

Our donation of £4789 helped TAG Youth Club purchase a Mountain Man Sit Ski, a transfer sling and a vacuum cushion for postural support for wheelchair users. Fully-qualified adapted skiing and snowboarding instructors from Disability Snowsports UK deliver snowsports lessons for TAG.

‘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

“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” – a TAG parent

Previous donation

Our earlier donation of £5,000 helped purchase a Magic Mirror sensory system for TAG. The Magic Mirror is the only interactive projection system that allows users of different ages and abilities to play and learn together. It supports national curriculum SEN learning responding to the slightest movement, supporting multiple access methods such as gesture, eye gaze, mouse and touch, and projects a variable image catering for wheelchair accessibility.

“A massive thank you to the Axis Foundation. This grant is enabling us to purchase a 3D motion censored sensory system which allows young people with disabilities to play interactive games” – Giles Hobart, Lead Youth Worker

More about Tag

TAG Youth Club in Richmond provides a safe, accessible, well-equipped and stimulating environment where young people (8-25 years) with disability can meet up with friends and enjoy social developmental and enjoyable activities including arts, drama, music and sport.  TAG’s Youth workers help the young people with disabilities here develop their self awareness and self esteem as and learn social and life skills too. This vital work takes place in their centre in Richmond and in the wider community locally.

Read more about TAG 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

We fund 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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Adapted accessible toilet facilities for Danemead Scouts Camp SiteDisability

Danemead Scout Camp Site

Increasing accessibility to natural beauty spot and educational facilities

Danemead Scout Camp Site encourages young people and the community to enjoy outdoor recreation, providing training in practical life skills as part of their educational programme here. The site welcomes schools, colleges, youth groups, local community organisations. Indeed, over 3000 people stayed on the site in 2019.

And, so that even more people can stay and enjoy this 34-acre ancient, coppiced woodland of unspoilt beauty in Hertfordshire, the Axis Foundation donated £3,000 to Danemead Scout Camp Site to help convert an existing external toilet into a purpose-design disabled toilet and washroom.

“We will always be grateful to Axis Foundation for supporting and helping the funding of the installation of the disabled toilet facility.

“The refurbishment of the toilet room to a disabled facility sits firmly in the social model of disability as it allows the inclusion into the site and facilities of wheelchair users and other disabled persons, by the provision of accessible toilet and washing facilities. We are excited about increasing the use of the camp site for further and additional community organisations”  – Mike Hayward, Camp Site Secretary

More about the refurbishment

The toilet required expanding to provide low level toilet and wash basin. Works also included removing the existing waste and water connection piping and diverting the system and subsequent re-connection and the installation of new fixings, safety rails, alarm system, tiling and new anti-slip floor. In addition, an external ramp was constructed and the existing steel door aperture was widened for wheelchair access.

More about Danemead Scout Camp Site

Danemead Scout Camp Site welcomes schools, colleges, youth groups, local community organisations and is run solely by volunteers. In addition, the Camp Site undertakes environmental conservation work involving the preservation of trees, landscapes, wildlife and their habitats.

There’s more about Danemead Scout Camp Site here

 

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Little boy in goggles using assistive technology to communicateDisability

 Lifelites

Donation to Lifelites provides assistive technology for children with life-limiting illnesses

The Axis Foundation’s donation of £5,000 to Lifelites will buy assistive and inclusive for technologies to help children with life-limiting illnesses who attend Demelza Hospice Care for Children, the Axis Foundation’s charity partner.

“Lifelites is incredibly grateful for the support of the Axis Foundation. The Covid-19 pandemic has really highlighted life-limited and disabled children using hospice services as some of the most vulnerable and isolated in our society.

“With this donation from the Axis Foundation, Lifelites will be able to provide life-changing technology so children at Demelza  are able to communicate, play, engage with the world around them and control something for themselves” – CEO Simone Enefer-Doy

Case Study – JJ’s Story

Eyegaze is just one example of Lifelites’ assistive and inclusive technologies. Here’s a first-hand report of how it helped one little boy.

“Before JJ was diagnosed with ALD, he was an able young boy, attending a mainstream school. Once diagnosed he slowly lost the ability to walk and talk. The Eyegaze works really well for JJ as a form of play and interaction. He enjoys using all the apps within the Eyegaze, allowing him to create art, and make different patterns on the screen, just by moving his eyes. It is a great way to socially interact with him.

“JJ enjoys making drum beats on the Eyegaze. This is fantastic as he is able to do it on his own, encouraging his independence, when normally he needs assistance with everything. JJ used to love playing the drums before he became unwell.” – Charlotte, JJ’s care assistant

Our donation to Lifelites will help them procure, install and maintain assistive technology like Eyegaze at Demelza, helping life-limited children as well as their siblings, parents and other family members.

More about Lifelites

Lifelites consults, pilots, procures, installs and supports and maintains bespoke packages of assistive technologies for every children’s hospice service in the British Isles.

They train care staff in its use and application on an on-going basis to ensure the equipment is in constant use for the children for whom every second counts. Lifelites has 60 projects across the British Isles.

Using the power of assistive and inclusive technology Lifelites aims to give every life-limited and disabled child using hospice services the opportunity to play, to communicate effectively, to take part in creative activities and to choose and control things for themselves.

Assistive technology enables life-limited children to communicate and interact with their well siblings as other children, to engage meaningfully with parents and carers and to remain engaged with their world for as long as possible.

There’s more about Lifelites here

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canoes and kayaks on river helping disabled young people enjoy paddlesportsDisability

Basingstoke and Deane Canoe Club

Hoist to help disabled young people get in and out of canoes

Basingstoke and Deane Canoe Club, based on the Basingstoke Canal, provides safe paddlesport activities for disabled young people. Paddlesport activities include recreational kayaking and canoeing.

The Axis Foundation’s donation of £2,000 helps buy them a mobile mechanical hoist. This will help paddlers with physical disabilities (in particular wheelchair users) to get on to the water. They can then take part in kayaking and canoeing activities on the canal.

“We are passionate about being able to provide kayaking and canoeing activities to people who would not otherwise be able to participate in paddlesports. The hoist will assist getting paddlers with impaired mobility in and out of kayaks and canoes” – Janella Mansell, Paddlesport Officer

The hoist will help young disabled people from Trealors College, a local school and college for disabled young people. Students currently have to use a swimming pool because of the height of the banks at the club house, Odiham Wharf, Colt Hill in Odiham, Hampshire.

The benefits of paddlesports include independence and better physical and mental wellbeing.

More about Basingstoke and Deane Canoe Club

Basingstoke and Deane Canoe Club is a charity run by volunteers.  The Club is affiliated to British Canoeing. Their specialist coaches are trained and experienced in kayaking with disabled people. They run courses throughout the year, regular taster sessions over the summer and have regular club nights. And, they reach out to their local community offering bespoke taster sessions to youth groups and other voluntary organisations.

More here 

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