Disabled adults and children enjoy festival experience with help from Festival SpiritDisability

Festival Spirit

Festival experience for life-limited and disabled people

Festival Spirit is passionate about providing magical festival experiences for life-limited and disabled people. The charity ensures that their guests can attend such festivals and have the time of their lives whilst there. The Axis Foundation donated £5,100 to help the charity continue in their mission.

“The money donated has enabled us to purchase vital equipment to ensure we are able to provide the very best facilities and support to our guests. In particular, we have bought two high-quality hoists for bed/chair transfers and changing and a range of kitchen equipment. Our festival brunches are becoming famous!

“It makes a huge difference to our guests knowing that they can be confident they will have access to all the equipment they need through a festival weekend. We couldn’t achieve such success without the support we get from organisations like the Axis Foundation.

“We were delighted to be able to make three festivals accessible in 2017. The donation we received from you was really important to us and the equipment we purchased was greatly appreciated by the attendees” – Steve Clarke, Trustee

More about Festival Spirit

Many music festivals simply cannot offer the full festival experience for life-limited and disabled people as they cannot accommodate the special requirements.
Festival Spirit lays on a specially-adapted marquee (with hard flooring, heating and electricity) which are close to disabled facilities such as showers and toilets, as well as full electric hospital beds, shower chairs/commodes and a curtained-off private sleeping area. There are camp beds for carers too, and ‘buddies’ who assist the guests and their carers travelling around the site.

“For four days, I was Lucy. I was a young adult. I was a festival-goer. I was part of a group. I was doing something many people do. I was myself. I was not a ‘disabled’ young adult, or a ‘disabled’ festival-goer, or a ‘disabled’ group member, I was simply me” – Lucy, attending WOMAD with Festival Spirit


Disabled pupils of Lonsdale School sit round a fire during camping trip.Disability

Lonsdale School

Special wheelchair help physically and neurologically impaired children achieve Duke of Edinburgh Award

Our award of £2,805 to Lonsdale School funded a new RGK All Terrain wheelchair which enabled 20 physically and neurologically impaired children pupils to complete their Duke of Edinburgh Expedition award.

The pupils, with the aid of the all-terrain wheelchair, were able to complete the award, walking, camping and enjoying the exercise and the great outdoors. Without the wheelchair, none of this would have been possible.

And, whilst it was invaluable in helping pupils complete their incredible adventure, the new specialist wheelchair will have long-term benefits for future pupils at the school too.

“The Duke of Edinburgh Expedition created lasting memories and for that we’re incredibly grateful. The equipment provided by the Axis Foundation will also benefit all our current and future students. It will give them the opportunity to be involved in a rewarding activity that they may otherwise not have been able to complete. We also took the All Terrain Wheelchair on our recent trip to Andorra for a week’s SitSki. The wheelchair was absolutely perfect for the conditions we were faced with and the donation was very gratefully received. Thank you” –  Sheena Harley, LSA 

More  About Lonsdale School

Lonsdale School caters for physically and neurologically impaired children It is based in Hertfordshire with around 90 pupils aged between 3 and 18 years. Here their motto is ‘Learning for Life” and they believe that pupils should enjoy being inside and outside of school: they participate in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme expedition to help pupils develop new skills outside the classroom.

Child sitting in a mobility chair that has been donated to him.Disability

Vinnie James

Donation provides mobility and independence to toddler with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

Two-year-old Vinnie James was diagnosed with type 1 Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) at eight weeks old. SMA is a genetic disease, causing deterioration in nerve cells connecting the brain and spinal cord to the muscles. Type 1 is the most severe.

Vinnie’s family had been campaigning to raise money for a Permobil Koala Power chair to provide him with some mobility and independence. As his mother Kelly told us: “He currently has to stay where we put him. He’s a toddler. He should be running around causing mayhem but he’s not able to.”

The Axis Foundation initially agreed to donate £1500 to cover the cost of the deposit for the chair. However – touched and impressed by further successful fundraising efforts by the family – the Foundation donated the final £6,000 needed to buy the chair. The family was also supported by chairman of local charity Heart of Darts Ian Waller.

“Without the help of the Axis Foundation and the donation they’ve made to the chair, we are unsure whether we would have got it. Moving forward, the chair will grow with Vinnie and ensure his mobility and independence – you have changed all of our lives” – Kelly, Vinny’s mother

The story continues…

Axis Operative Dan Ward (who was working near to Vinnie’s home on a routine job) noticed how Kelly and the family struggled to manoeuvre Vinnie’s previous chair through the front door of their property. So, he volunteered to fit and install a special door which was provided by supply chain partner Travis Perkins.

“The team at Axis saw what a struggle it was on a day to basis to get Vinnie in and out of our property. They came and fitted a specialist door that opens outwards making our life so much easier. This act of kindness is greatly appreciated by our family” – Kelly, Vinny’s mother

In 2020, the Axis Foundation funded important and specialist physio for Vinnie – read our story here.

Specialist equipment that improves mobility for people living with multiple sclerosisDisability

Samson Centre for MS

Mobility for people living with multiple sclerosis

The Samson Centre for MS provides free practical and emotional support for those in their teens and upwards who are living with multiple sclerosis in Surrey. Each year, they deliver approximately 3,500 physiotherapy sessions, 4,000 exercise classes, 2,500 gym sessions and 2,500 oxygen therapy treatments to MS sufferers.

The Axis Foundation’s donation of £3,172 will enable the centre to purchase two Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) units and fund ancillary equipment over a three-year period. FES is a treatment that uses the application of small electrical charges to improve mobility. These FES units are a vital part of treatment for those with MS and our donation is projected to help over 300 people over the course of three years.

 “This donation is very much appreciated and both now and in the coming three years will make a difference to the lives of many people who are living with multiple sclerosis. Thank you all once again for your most kind and generous gift!” – Denice Logan Rose, Samson Centre

A horse at the diamond centre that provides horse riding therapyDisability

The Diamond Centre

We help more disabled riders enjoy horse riding

The Diamond Centre is a charity that provides horse riding facilities to support disabled children and adults. Horse riding is widely recognised to be beneficial for both physical and mental health, and 320 riders enjoy its positive effects at the centre every week.

Our funding will support a horse called Splash. The donation will cover the cost of his hay, hard feed, straw, veterinary fees and all other caring costs for an entire year.

“We are delighted that the Axis Foundation has sponsored Splash who, although little, is a big favourite with our riders. The donation will allow us to continue to offer horse riding for the disabled children – as well as enabling them to have fun!” – The Diamond Centre

More About The Diamond Centre

Based in Surrey, The  Diamond Centre specialises in all aspects of horse riding for the disabled including: dressage, carriage driving, vaulting and hippotherapy. Riders, all aged between 4 and 65, get to enjoy regular contact with horses with the assistance of an instructor. The experience of horse riding gives people independence, a sense of achievement, and most importantly, a smile on their faces.

Disabled child in specialist mobility chairDisability

George Tappenden Fund

Specialist mobility wheelchair for disabled toddler

Toddler George Tappenden lost the use of his legs due to Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) so the Axis Foundation donated £3,000 to help his family buy his new specialist mobility chair.

The chair supports George’s body and enables him to get around more easily, stand up, sit on the floor, play with his siblings and be able to experience a life closer to that of a typical, happy toddler. The specialist mobility chair cost £21,000: George’s family and friends organised successful fundraisers including raffles, quiz nights, balls and auctions to raise the required amount; our donation helped them reach the total they needed.

George’s mum, Lucy Frost said: “We want to thank the Axis Foundation and all the people who donated. It’s hard to believe that it was just before Christmas that we were told George had SMA, and when we were told how much the specialist mobility chair cost it felt like we were never going to get there – but we did. What is very hard as a mother is knowing that George will get worse, and everything he ever needs or uses is going to have to be designed to him. That’s why I hope people continue to be so kind and support us. Thank you.”

13 year old charlie smiling after life enhancing operationDisability

Charlie Randell Fund

Help and hope for sufferer of Spastic Cerebral Palsy

Charlie has suffered from Spastic Cerebral Palsy since birth, meaning that he is unable to control his limbs. The debilitating condition prevents him from being able to walk independently.

The Axis Foundation has answered a plea from Charlie’s family to help contribute towards his £55,000 operation, giving him a new lease of independence. Charlie’s family and friends have worked exceptionally hard to raise the rest of the money needed through fundraising events such as raffles, a school disco, race nights, a zumbathon and various ad hoc donations.

£5,000 from the Axis Foundation will go towards a life-enhancing operation called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy, that aims to isolate the nerves that send ‘bad’ signals from the brain to the legs and hopefully give Charlie more control of the movement in his lower body. If the operation is successful, Charlie should become more flexible and be able to do more things – his ultimate aim is to be able to dress himself.

Charlie’s mum, Amanda Randell: “Everyone who has supported us has been fantastic and that includes Axis. This is a huge single donation and we have been blessed to have been awarded it. The money will be a massive help – we cannot stress how grateful we are”.

Disabled child smiling in his new specialist car seatDisability

Harrison Smith Fund

Specialist car seat brings mobility

Little Harry’s illness limits his mobility; to help him see more of the world, his parents can purchase a specialist car seat thanks to our donation.

At 13 months, genetic tests diagnosed Harry Smith with 1p36 Deletion Syndrome. This chromosome deficiency affects Harry’s growth, development, speech, hearing, sight, mobility, digestion and motor skills.

Harry’s grandparents set up the ‘Harrison Smith Future Care Fund’ to provide for his future care and Harry’s family and friends host fundraising events including a Valentine’s Day ball which raised £10,000. Harry’s family also applied to the Axis Foundation for £500 Axis Foundation to purchase a specialist car seat, which we were delighted to grant.

The new, lightweight car seat provides added comfort and support through extra-firm armrests. Most importantly, it has a padded swivel base which makes transferring Harry from his wheelchair into the car a much easier process.

“Before we had the new seat it was difficult to transfer Harry without making him feel uncomfortable and hurting our backs leaning into the car” explained Jenny, Harry’s mum.

“We would just like to thank you for donating Harry’s new specialist car seat. It swivels so Harry can be lifted into the car so much easier and is so much more comfortable for him. It will last for a very long time as there is lots of room in it for Harry to grow.”

Axis MD Joe Ibrahim hands over new mini bus to the Tabor Centre.Disability

Tabor Centre

Wheelchair-accessible minibus for disabled adults

The Tabor Centre in Essex provides daytime care for over 80 severely disabled adults and respite for their full time family carers. The Axis Foundation’s donation part-funded the purchase of a wheelchair accessible minibus, used to transport members comfortably and safely.

Anthea Cooper, Tabor’s Centre Manager, explained in her funding application: “Accessible transport is key to our service, without it we cannot operate as our members disabilities mean they’re unable to travel in conventional ways. The day trips this vehicle will facilitate are the only opportunity for many of our members to leave their home and meet other people.”

“Your donation and this vehicle will enhance the lives of our severely disabled members” – Tabor Centre Manager, Anthea Cooper

More About The Tabor Centre

The Tabor Centre has been active for over twenty years, providing professional care and support to severely disabled adults, about 50% of whom have Multiple Sclerosis. The day centre provides educational classes, counselling, therapy and importantly a congenial and friendly atmosphere for people that visit.
Our ultimate aims are the rehabilitation of our members to enable them to participate and become part of their local community and for their carers to have a better quality of life.