Safer home for little boy with epilepsy

Safer home for Curtis who has a rare form of epilepsy – Dravet Syndrome

Curtis, age four, suffers from frequent seizures and needs round-the-clock care. And summer heatwaves resulted in a seizure and a hospital visit for Curtis and his parents Emily and Carl.

On behalf of Curtis and his family, James Garlick, Digital & IT Service Delivery Manager at Axis, applied to the Axis Foundation for support – in the form of air-conditioning units. James explained that simply keeping Curtis cool reduces the constant risk of seizure and makes his home safer for him.

The Axis Foundation paid for the air con, and Axis operatives installed the units in Curtis’ bedroom and playroom and in the lounge.

“We want to say a huge thank you to the Foundation for investing in this for us. We can never convey how much your support means to our family – you’ve made our home a safe place for Curtis all year round” – Emily, Curtis’ mum

Curtis’ mother Emily explains more

“Due to Curtis’s very rare syndrome (Dravet) he is unable to properly regulate his temperature. This is a significant issue because when he gets too hot he is susceptible to seizures. These can range from increased seizure activity, leaving him unable to focus on a task, to a full tonic clonic seizure, involving initiating his rescue plan and a trip to A&E.

“This led us to start to feel anxious for him around the summer months, especially with increasingly frequent spikes in temperature for prolonged periods. We invested in portable air con units but these confined Curtis confined to two rooms of the house; often being fed, playing and changed in one room all day.

“He’s a reasonably active four year old, who wants to run about from time to time. So this often led to frustrations for both him and us. Furthermore, moving the air con units around the house is extremely difficult because they weigh around 30kgs each.

The difference for Curtis

“The new, properly fitted air con allows Curtis to live and play safely and normally in the house as any child should. He will be able to use the full extent of downstairs now and we can let him run around without fear that he’ll overheat due to the weather.

The difference for Emily and Carl

“It really will be life changing for us. We’ll no longer have to carry a unit up to his bedroom to try and cool it before he sleeps and can hopefully adjust the temperature to keep him cool all night.

It’s a massive relief for us and gives us back a bit of normality in the summer months. It will remove the constant anxiety we have for him in the summer.”

More about Dravet Syndrome here

 

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exterior and interior scout base community hub brickwork and timber beamsCommunity

1st Godstone Scout Group

Donation restores building for scout group and for local community

The Axis Foundation’s grant of £5,000 helped the 1st Godstone Scout Group to restore their historic base, The Endeavour, at Godstone in East Surrey.

“The award of £5,000 from the Axis Foundation has made it possible to start the restoration work to The Endeavour which is a well-loved building in Godstone. It fronts the village green and has been used for over 80 years by the young people of the community. This award will allow the building to become a true community hub” – Mark Wiles, Group Scout Leader 

More about the Scout Base

Based on a 16th-century oak barn, The Endeavour was hand built by scouts and volunteers in the 1930s. They used recovered materials from a Sussex barn, stone from Waterloo Bridge and 14th-century Purbeck stone from a church.

But, because of its age, The Endeavour had started to deteriorate. It needed urgent repairs to its walls and windows. And so the Axis Foundation was delighted to make a donation to help restore the building for the scout group and for the local community. Local people use it for orchestra practice, exercise classes, birthday parties and fundraising events.

More about the restoration works

Scope of works here included installing style-appropriate new windows with secondary glazing inside toughened glass and rebuilding the brickwork panels below the windows.

More about The 1st Godstone Scout Group

The 1st Godstone Scout Group has been in Godstone since 1908 and provides Scouting to over 50 young people, aged six to14, boys and girls, from all backgrounds and ethnicity. Even during COVID-19 the group remained active in the local community.

More here!

There’s more about the 1st Godstone Scout Group here 

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Keeping kids safe with OK OKCare

OK Our Kids

Keeping children safe

Working with the police, OK Our Kids (OKOK) created Watch Out! and Mistakes and Ladders. The book and board game help young children deal confidently with the challenges of keeping safe at home, at school and in the community.

The Axis Foundation donated £1,000 to help fund printing costs. Our Trustees were impressed by the clear benefits to young children today and to future generations.

“Your wonderful donation has already been spent on producing more product. Rest assured, monies made from sales goes directly into buying more of our wonderful “Watch Out!” books and “Mistakes and Ladders” board games. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Your donation WILL make a HUGE difference to young people’s lives” – Tony and Lynn Bartley, Founders

More about Watch Out!/Mistakes and Ladders

Aimed at keeping children safe, the book and board game teach children DOs and DON’Ts, the right way to behave and how to lead by example. Both encourage families and schools to discuss safety openly.

OKOK produced Watch Out! books and Mistakes and Ladders board games for Primary schools in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Devon and Cornwall. Buckinghamshire Council, Thames Valley Police and City of London Police have endorsed both products as have charities Barnardo’s and the NSPCC.

Here’s what the teachers say

“The Watch Out! books are excellent and cover many topical issues relevant to our children’s learning and the primary curriculum. It is tricky to approach some of these topics. And the book serves as a great starting point at a level that is appropriate for primary aged children” – Cags Gilbert, Head Teacher, Constantine Primary School

“The Watch Out! kids books are a super resource” –  Jules Jenkin, Head Teacher, Mabe School

And there’s more!

Find out more about OK Our Kids here 

 

 

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3 girls from Amateur Boxing Club, Swale Gloves pose in fight stanceDonations

Swale Gloves

Amateur Boxing Club punches above its weight!

Our continued support for Swale Gloves Amateur Boxing Club keeps youngsters off the streets and teaches them core values. The Axis Foundation has supported this Amateur Boxing Club since 2016. Our yearly donations, which total £33,000 in 2021, help cover the running costs of the club keeping it affordable and accessible.

Swale Gloves, based in Sittingbourne, Kent, works with 150 local children and teenagers teaching them the art of boxing. Boxing encourages respect and self-discipline whilst encouraging children to have fun away from the computer screen.

“The funds from the Axis Foundation give us financial freedom and enable us to keep subscription costs down. We’ve been able to keep it at the same price for the past six years. This means we can stay open which is the most important thing. This £5,000 is huge for an Amateur Boxing Club like us. It’s nice to have some like Axis who really supports us” – John Williams, Founder

Our donations have replaced broken sports equipment, contributed to transport costs and helped pay the rent of the hall. Now that’s what we like to call heavyweight support!

2020 Update

 “We were allowed to re-open at the end of July 2020. Luckily most of our members returned. It has been difficult as we have to try and social distance within the gym and we are not allowed any sparring or padwork. All the kids have been really great and kept on supporting us.

“Once again we would like to thank the Axis Foundation for your continued support. It means so much as it gives us financial freedom where we can just concentrate in providing a great environment for the local kids within our community. Your support has been even more essential this year as we lost 3 months worth of income due to COVID” – John Williams, Founder

2021 Update

“Swale Gloves is truly grateful for the help you have given us over the past six years.

“We were closed from November 2020 and able to re-open mid-March 2021. Luckily for us most of our members have returned… Our membership remains high, we have 152 members, 33 of which are female.

“But we have had to purchase a lot more equipment, each member has access to their own gloves and ropes, to enable us to put on training sessions in a safe and social distanced way.

“We are back sparring now. Plus, we have also started a new referral scheme with a local specialist school. This has gone very well: we have 20 members referred to us from the school. All off these members have various issues and cannot be in mainstream school. We are helping to work with them to improve their self-confidence and social interaction skills” – John Williams, Founder

Case study – Fawwaz Akingbogun

Fawwaz Akingbogun is a real success story for Swale Gloves Amateur Boxing Club. He came here as a referral from his school in 2018. He was constantly in trouble and was in danger of being expelled. And he also started to get in trouble with the police.

“Swale Gloves has helped turn Fawwaz’s life around. He totally embraced his training. Within weeks his self-confidence grew and he began to see that he had a lot more to offer the world. Three years on Fawwaz has just completed his A Levels and achieved great results. Fawwaz comes from a very underprivileged background: his family struggles to afford the training sessions. And so we decided we would let Fawwaz in for free.

“He has repaid us in full by turning his life around and giving himself a great future.”

Fawwaz says: “I started getting into to trouble at school a few years ago, my teacher referred me to Swale Gloves Boxing Club, since I have been there my confidence and self-belief has improved so much. I managed to leave school with great A Levels and am now looking forward to going to University to study Business. But I will never forget the help the coaches at Swale Gloves have given me, I hope they continue for many years having a positive impact on young kids’ lives.”

 

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Donations

Halas Hawks

Proudly supporting Halas Hawks’ Lionesses, under 10s girls’ team

Halas Hawks’ Lionesses, the under 10s girls’ team at Halas Hawks Junior Football Club, needed new kit.

So the Axis Foundation is proud to support them with a donation of £600 to get the Under 10s fully kitted out for the new season. 

As one local mum says: “This team is close to my heart as it’s my daughter’s football team. This is a fantastic team which has made all the difference to her and her team mates. She was not the most confident of children and this has really brought her out of herself.”  

“Having such an amazing investment from our new sponsor has not only meant new kit for the Under 10s but also that we can buy equipment and pay pitch fees and player registrations. It also means that we will be able to continue long into the future and carry on with our ever growing team. Thank you so much from myself, the manager, the coaching team and mostly importantly every girl who will wear and play in the new kit that you have provided for them” –  Jonathan Kane, Team Manager

Axis and the Midlands 

The Axis Foundation has supported many small, local and impactful causes in the Midlands. We have connected to these causes through our local people at Axis Europe plc’s busy, well-established and successful offices in Oldbury. Here we work for some of the area’s largest housing providers to keep local homes safe and comfortable for residents.  

More about Halas Hawks 

Halas Hawks Junior Football Club was established in 1980, when boys from various scout groups in  Halesowen got together to promote and develop youth football locally. Since then the club has won many accolades including runner up in Birmingham County’s Grass Roots Club of the Year. The club is rooted in – and supported by – its local community in Halesowen. The Lionesses were formed in 2019 as a new Under 10s girls’ football team. More here 

Top Tip! Birmingham City’s Connie Scofield played for Halas Hawks before joining Blues Ladies Development at the age of nine.

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Three young children in green leaves outdoor learning spaceDonations

The Friends of Collett School

Creating forest learning space for children with Special Educational Needs

The Friends of Collett School approached the Axis Foundation to help convert an overgrown, unused forest area to a forest school area for children with Special Educational Needs. And we were delighted to make a donation of £540 to create learning packs for the project.

“This is such wonderful news! On behalf of everybody at The Friends of Collett School, thank you very much for your donation and support – it is really, really appreciated” – Rhea Dickman , Fundraising Lead, The Friends of Collett School

More about the Forest Learning Space

The forest learning space for children with Special Educational Needs will include outside blackboards, a fit pit for cooking, sensory equipment, a mud kitchen and bug hotel, a trim trail, a living fedge and a den-making area.

All these fun and educational work stations will help Collett’s children with Special Educational Needs engage with nature in a safe and supportive space. The children will learn transferable gardening skills, develop communication and cognitive skills and improve their self esteem and confidence.

The Collett School for Special Educational Needs in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire will also invite local community groups and special and mainstream schools to use the forest learning area.

And there’s more about the school 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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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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Child in grey Hypo Hounds t-shirt and black dogCare

Hypo Hounds

Our helping hand to Hypo Hounds buys a specialist Diabetic Alert Assistance dog

“One sniff at a time” Hypo Hounds save the lives of children affected with Brittle Type 1 Diabetes every day. And our donation of £2,700 will purchase and feed a puppy and also cover its insurance.

“The wonderful donation by the Axis Foundation will enable us to purchase a puppy for a child, insure it and feed it for the first year of its life. Without this funding we would have had to temporarily disappoint a child that is in desperate clinical need. We are extremely grateful” – Mrs Jane Pearman FRSM, Chief Executive and Founder

CASE STUDY Ruby the Hypo Hound

“My daughter Chloe might not be here now if it wasn’t for Hypo Hound Ruby. During a recent sickness bug Ruby began to panic! She is usually such a calm dog, she would not stop alerting. We tried to control Chloe’s bloods as best we could at home, but we were not able to keep her fluid intake up. Ruby knew this and Chloe was at serious risk of falling into DKA. We listened to Hypo Hound Ruby, trusted that something wasn’t right and sought medical advice. Chloe was taken into hospital and placed onto a drip until her vomiting bug ended.

“Chloe and Ruby are the best of friends and are inseparable. Ruby is just amazing and we love her to bits” – Kathy (Chloe’s mum)

More about Hypo Hounds

Type 1 Diabetes effects 29,000 people in the UK. And 20% of those have this rare form, Brittle Type 1 Diabetes, for which there is no known cause and there is no cure. And every day, children with Brittle Type 1 Diabetes are at risk of collapsing, failing into a Diabetic coma and potentially dying in their sleep.

Because Hypo Hounds are trained to alert to parents/owners of the subtle changes in a child’s blood sugars they can help to prevent potentially life-threatening hypoglycaemic attacks, allowing parents to treat the child and mitigate the risk of hospital admissions.

Early detection of these changes in children with Brittle Type 1 Diabetes also means that the child’s long-term health is improved. Early detection reduces risk of renal failure, loss of sight and amputation.

Hypo Hounds’ amazing dogs are beating all the current technology by a precious 15 minutes, providing comfort, peace of mind and relief to parents and families.

More here!

There is more about Kent-based charity Hypo Hounds 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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