Young girl in blue shirt riding brown pony Barrow Farm helping adults and children with disabilitiesDisability

Barrow Farm

Riding for adults and children with disabilities

Barrow Farm offers subsidised riding, including to those with limited means, bringing fitness, fulfilment, friendship and fun to adults and children with disabilities.

The Axis Foundation’s donation of £5,500 went towards purchasing a new pony, Milly, who can offer riding and driving experiences to at least five more people every week.

Dr Karen Lehner, Vice Chairman of the Trustees, said: “We are truly indebted to the Axis Foundation enabling us to help more disabled children and adults. Milly has settled in well and has already started her work with  our disabled riders.

“We are very pleased to have a few riders back now [the centre closed during COVID-19 lockdown]. It’s such a pleasure to see the smiles on their faces as they return to meet their beloved favourite pony.”

One mother said after her daughter’s first visit back:

“Thank you for today ‘A’ so enjoyed being back at Barrow Farm.  She was so keen and relaxed to go and be with you all.  Your organisation of the session is brilliant and made me relax  – I was nervous myself having not been out in the world but I enjoyed the session as much as ‘A’ did!!! ‘ A’ very chatty about her session on the way home and been telling dad all about it.  Many thanks to you, Sally and Claire for doing this. Obviously my next question is can we please have another session when it’s available?”

More about Barrow Farm

Every week 130 riders and 11 carriage drivers with a range of difficulties enjoy the riding at this specialist centre in Essex where 13 horses and ponies, along with four paid coaches and over 80 volunteers offer support in a safe environment.

The father of one driver described his daughter’s riding session as  “the highlight of her week” while his daughter added “ I am constantly striving to improve. It’s something new that I haven’t done before; I learn something new every time. Having a hobby outside of my work life distracts me from work and helps with stress.”

Barrow Farm loves welcoming new visitors  – find out more here.

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young people in boxing gym with tyre plus 10th anniversary logoDonations

Sandwell Asian Development Association

We help stop young people from engaging in crime and antisocial behaviour

Axis Foundation donates £1,000 to Sandwell Asian Development Association (SADA) to purchase computer and boxing equipment.

West Midlands Police, local youth services and the probation service refer young people to SADA. The Inner City Boxing Scheme, based in West Bromwich, W Midlands, runs an eight-week course for young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET). Professional experts help ten young people train in amateur boxing.  At the end of the course the youngsters get to see a boxing show and continue with their fitness training with experts.

SADA also runs amateur boxing classes, weight training, cardio sessions and boxercise classes as well as a homework support club. . Ex-world boxing champion Ritchie Woodhall supports the organisation in their great work with young people.

Commenting on the success of SADA, a service user said: “The boxing training has helped me to improve as a person and respect my elders. Thank you.”

 

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Two young boxers holding their trophies after a fightDonations

Runcorn Amateur Boxing Club

Giving disadvantaged youngsters a fighting chance through boxing training

Runcorn Amateur Boxing Club, open for nearly 100 years, is a haven for vulnerable youngsters in Cheshire. The Axis Foundation’s £5,000 donation bought new boxing equipment to improve the gym’s facilities. The new boxing equipment makes the club an even more attractive prospect for disadvantaged individuals.

Runcorn’s Head Coach, Darren, said “I’d like to thank Axis on behalf of everyone at the club, as well as personally. It’s great to find like-minded people with the same goal to improve the mindset of Runcorn’s kids on this issue and to help us help them. Again, thank you.”

More about Runcorn Amateur Boxing Club

Runcorn is in the top 5% of deprived areas nationally, so the boxing club is a place for young adults to engage in meaningful activities, away from negative influences like knife crime. It’s an important part of the community that helps children and young adults thrive, as well as exercise.

Preserving the facilities and maintaining equipment is an important part of keeping Runcorn open. Their fully-licensed community boxing club has over 100 members but is always welcoming newcomers. Their Knife Down Glove Up campaign plays a vital part in educating people about the dangers of knife crime. It will reach their immediate members as well as filter through parents to other families in the wider community.

Volunteer coaches make sure mentoring is aligned to the most vulnerable, helping youngsters develop both physically and mentally. The new gym equipment includes a boxing ring, which adds to the clubs great facilities. Runcorn welcomes children aged seven upwards, providing opportunities that could change lives and a space based on equal opportunities.

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Group pictures of volunteers at one of WellChild's Helping Hands projectsCare

WellChild’s Helping Hands project

Making homes and gardens accessible for young people with exceptional health needs

Many children and young people live in homes which are not suitable for their needs. The Axis Foundation has donated £6,250 to WellChild, supporting children and young people with exceptional healthcare needs. Their Helping Hands project regularly enlists volunteers to create safe, stimulating gardens in the homes of sick children.

A donation like this will allow us to offer more help to families who really need it. We are very grateful to Axis for this kind donation to the WellChild Helping Hands programme.”- Lorna Pedersen, Head of Wellchild

Our funding will give at least four more children accessible sensory areas to enjoy. A sensory garden can be a haven for children with complex needs because it’s a place that allows them to develop. It is also a familiar environment, so children get the opportunity to actually enjoy playing outside.

More About Wellchild

Having children with complex conditions often makes going out as a family impossible. So Wellchild’s projects are a lifeline for families who need an outdoor space to spend time in together. The project offers organisations a unique opportunity to have a direct impact on their local community. Through volunteering days companies can have fantastic team building experiences, while improving the lives of many people. WellChild has already worked on over 390 gardens UK wide and has over 90 successful London projects.

To find out more, visit www.wellchild.org.uk.

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Two young girls stood next to plane at bader braves young aviator dayDisability

The Douglas Bader Foundation

Offering disabled children the chance to fly

Douglas Bader Foundation’s Bader Braves Young Aviator Days offer disabled children the chance to fly in a light aircraft. Our pledge of £3000 means that at least 40 more children will take to the skies!

All children have the right to realise their aspirations and discover their true potential” – David Bickers, CEO

Flying is a brilliant experience for children because it puts a huge smile on their faces. It’s also fun for the family. As one parent said: “My daughter cannot stand or walk, yet she took to the air like a bird, flying over Pembrokeshire squealing with delight. We had such a wonderful day, brilliant – Thank You!”

Young Aviator Days improve life-skills and increase confidence. They help children push their barriers and focus on what they can do, rather than on what they can’t. The whole day includes picnics, a goodie bag, a DVD, and a certificate of bravery for each child.

“As a charity we rely on the generosity of donations,” says David Bickers, CEO. “They enable us to continue offering this exciting and inspirational project to children and their families. The wonderful donation from the Axis Foundation means we can secure the day for next year already, which is fantastic. It is wonderful for the children and their families to know already that the day will go ahead. They cannot wait! All children have the right to realise their aspirations and discover their true potential.”

The Douglas Bader Foundation provides support in many ways, as well as hosting their aviator days for over 10 years. T

More here.

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Riders at Scropton Riding for the Disabled with rosettes and a horseDisability

Scropton Riding for the Disabled

Helping disabled people enjoy the benefits of riding

Scropton Riding for the Disabled is dedicated to enriching people’s lives through horse riding. Our donation of £5500 will buy a new horse for the centre, to help more disabled people enjoy the benefits of riding. Scropton Riding for the Disabled is the only centre of its kind in the East Midlands.

Scropton Riding for the Disabled has changed my life – Matthew Dalley, rider at Scropton

Horse riding is an activity that vastly improves health and mental wellbeing. It helps break down barriers for disabled individuals whilst being a fun and therapeutic experience. Phoebe Burns, a rider, said she feels safe at Scropton. “It’s my favourite place to be. I feel unjudged, included, happy and I can spend time with my friends, both human and equine.”

Horses have a great impact on the lives of disabled adults and children, bringing joy to the faces of all the centre’s visitors. Matthew Dalley is another rider at the centre. He said: Scropton Riding for the Disabled has changed my life, making me the person I am today. Riding has helped me develop in so many ways and now I am both a para rider and volunteer for RDA. I am so lucky to have such fantastic support from the centre.”

Horses are Scropton’s most valuable resource. One horse provides 10,000 sessions over 10 years. A new horse will provide more riding opportunities for more disabled children and adults.

Scroton Trustee Glynis Dalley commented: “The activities we provide here at Scropton make a very real difference to the lives of people who take part. Whether our riders come for therapy or to develop riding as a sport, the benefits spread way beyond their time in the saddle. For many it can be absolutely life changing. Our fantastic horses are key to what we do, and we are very excited that the Axis Foundation is going to help us expand our team, allowing us to help even more local disabled adults and children.”

To find out more, visit www.scropton.com

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Close up of parents and babyDemelza

Benjamin’s story by Liam Hayes

Liam and Amy Hayes’ son Benjamin Jeffrey John Hayes was born on Sunday 12th May 2019 and sadly passed away 10 days later.

This is Benjamin’s story, told by Liam:

“I know many of you will have heard our news because you’ve been overwhelmingly supportive and caring, it’s been felt by both Amy and myself and is hugely appreciated. But I wanted to tell Benjamin’s story because I’m still a proud dad and also because it highlights the importance of charities like Demelza, who Axis supports through our Foundation.

“After a healthy pregnancy we arrived at the hospital excited about the birth and ready to meet our little boy. But our joy turned to concern when the midwifes discovered Benjamin’s heart rate had dropped in the final stages of labour and despite the best efforts of the midwifery team, the lack of oxygen being delivered his organs had left him with severe brain damage.

“Benjamin was transferred to the Oliver Fisher Neonatal Unit in Medway where the doctors and nurses gave him the very best care they could in the hopes of reversing some of the damage done to his brain.

“Very sadly this is something that cannot be predicted in babies and there is no reason as to why it happens. It is all out of anyone’s control. We now know that 3 in 1000 babies are affected by HIE during labour or at birth.

“Benjamin fought hard but despite his courage and determination his brain condition wasn’t going to improve and his little head just wouldn’t tell him to breathe.

“After the medical teams had done all that they could, we took Benjamin to Demelza. They helped us make happy memories, even at the toughest time our family has ever been through.

“We had a teddy bears’ picnic in the garden with Benjamin’s grandparents, aunties and uncles. We held Benjamin whilst we all had tea and cake and listened to music.

“When it was the right time for Benjamin to fall asleep, it was so calm and peaceful. Benjamin didn’t suffer any pain during his short life which gives us some comfort.

“During the darkest days the wonderful staff at the Oliver Fisher Neonatal Unit and Demelza provided support and comfort.

I felt it was important to share this because we’ve had so much support from friends at Axis and the Hospices, Amy and I wanted the chance to say a huge heartfelt thank you to you all.”

Thanks to the generosity of our guests and the people of Axis, the Axis Foundation’s annual charity ball in 2019 raised a record breaking amount for Demelza and the Oliver Fisher Neonatal Unit. More about the charity ball here

More about Oliver Fisher Neonatal unit here

More about Axis and Demelza here

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young person holding poster standing astride red bike, 10 year logoCare

Cyclists Fighting Cancer

Bikes and adapted trikes for children with cancer

The Axis Foundation donated to £5,000 to Cyclists Fighting Cancer (CFC), a charity which donates bikes and adapted trikes to children with cancer in order to support their work which improves lives and well being.

“The Axis Foundation’s generous donation will allow us to purchase 10 bikes or 3 specialist trikes for those children who are successful in their application to Cyclists Fighting Cancer. Your donation will help us to change the lives of children and young people living with a cancer diagnosis… on behalf of the whole Cyclists Fighting Cancer team, thank you for the generous donation” – Alice Wragg, Fundraiser

More About CFC

We know that cycling is good exercise. And for children with cancer it is even more beneficial. Some children may be unable to ride a conventional bike as a result of treatment – they may have balance issues, numbness, fatigue or have had amputations or be wheelchair-bound. CFC makes required adaptions to bikes and trikes.

Fundraiser Alice Wragg explains: “Exercise is an effective way to improve both the mental and physical side effects of cancer and its treatment. Cycling in particular is a great way for children with cancer to enjoy exercise as it is low impact, sociable and a great escape from hospital visits and ongoing treatment.”

CFC works closely with the 21 paediatric oncology units around the UK, as well as with other charities that work with childhood cancer (i.e. CLIC Sargent, Teenage Cancer Trust, The Rainbow Trust etc). Their specially trained Cancer Exercise Specialists regularly offer advice regarding physical fitness and on-bike and trike applications.

The charity has donated 5,000 bikes and adapted trikes to children with cancer since the charity’s inception in 2005.

 

 

 

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Band Performing at Music therapy charityDisability

Otakar Kraus Music Trust

Music therapy helps children with additional needs

The Axis Foundation’s donation of £8,000 to The Otakar Kraus Music Trust (OKMT) enables seven pupils to attend OK Music School. Here qualified music therapists teach children and young people with physical, learning, mental or neurological disability or illness.

“We are delighted that the Axis Foundation has approved our application to enable seven pupils with disabilities to attend OK Music School for 36 weeks. This will make a huge difference to our music therapy work and allow more children to enjoy the benefits of learning and performing music. Music therapy helps children with disabilities when nothing else can reach them” – Valerie Roy, Fundraising Manager, OKMT

Whilst at the music therapy school, children interact and make friends, reducing isolation. They gain communication skills and become more confident. Improved listening skills and focus help their learning at school. And performing makes them feel happier, proud of their achievements and part of the community. Some children have passed Royal School of Music exams, and some have performed on national radio.

The children say:

‘It makes me feel good about myself – I can do something well!’

“I love music because it gives me confidence and it takes me away from the pressures of real life. I make more friends here than anywhere else”

Parents say:

“OK Music School has been amazing helping my daughter to gain confidence and improve her memory and listening skills. She is able to verbalise that she is proud of herself.”

“E has blossomed, she had very low self-esteem when we started as she was unable to attend school due to her severe anxieties. It has been a Godsend for her mental health.”

OK Music School Case Study

D is 8 and is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. He struggles with interacting with people he doesn’t know and with some motor skills. He lacks concentration and has some language and communication difficulties. Therefore it is hard for him to take part in activities where he could enjoy time and space with his peers. D had received speech and language therapy and some music therapy.

But then his mother heard about OKMT through a London Autism group.

D started attending the OKMT Youth Choir, where he was silent for a few months until he finally joined in and started singing along. Then he joined OK Music school where he began to learn to play the piano. He thrived on the stable routine, and playing piano now provides him respite and happiness. His concentration and motor skills have improved, and he is now confident in a group of children and socially more aware of others. He took part in the Christmas concert in 2019 and played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on the piano which gave him a great sense of achievement. His family were so proud and joyful to watch him playing in the concert in front of a big audience.

D said: “I feel happy and excited to attend my music lessons!”

LOCKDOWN UPDATE from Valerie Roy, Fundraising Manager, OKMT

“During lockdown our therapists were able to adapt to provide online OK Music School lessons for over half of the Music School pupils. These worked remarkably well and provided a positive activity with a familiar face, which helped reduce anxiety and isolation and improve the pupils’ mental well-being. We also provided pre-recorded videos for younger children with disabilities, our online Youth Choir and also online music therapy groups for adults with neurological conditions, mental health problems and for elderly people.

“We have now returned to face-to-face lessons for nearly all pupils, with social distancing, masks and increased cleaning.  We will not be able to hold a Christmas concert this year (2020) but aim to record pupils at lessons performing pieces they have learned and then stream this online for parents and others as an alternative Christmas concert.”

OKMT Survey Results

OKMT recently asked parents what difference OK Music School was making to their child.  The top survey results were:

  • Increased their confidence and self-esteem 100%
  • Improved their concentration and ability to follow instructions 79%
  • Improved their mental well-being  74%
  • Improved their listening skills 68%

 

Read more about this Twickenham-based charity here

 

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Axis foundation helps to fund specialist bathroom to young girlCare

Bathroom for Isabella

Specialist bathroom for disabled child

Aged two months, Isabella was diagnosed with a serious birth defect – neuronal migration disorder – and epilepsy. Her parents, Nicola and Robert were of course devastated by this news. Now aged four, Isabella has very limited mobility and is confined to a wheelchair. She is unable to speak, and her family, including her young siblings, is on constant guard as the risk of seizure is never far away.

To give their daughter more freedom of movement, Nicola and Robert moved to a bungalow and adapted it – widening the doors for example – with the aid of a grant.

Installing a specialist bathroom for Isabella

Nicola and Robert desperately wanted to install a similar specialist bathroom at their home. Sadly, their local authority was only able to offer a shower: the costs of installation were well beyond Nicola and Robert’s budget.  At this point, the Axis Foundation stepped in, funding a specialist bath costing £10,000, paying for installation and materials, and turning a dream into a reality.

“We can’t believe it! Grateful doesn’t even cover it! You guys will never know how much this means to us! THANK YOU!” – Nicola and Robert, Isabella’s parents

Respite stays at Demelza Hospice for Sick Children provide comfort and practical support too – for all the family. Here Isabella benefits from using the sensory room while their specialist bathroom is both practical and safe for her and her carers. Demelza is the charity partner to the Axis Foundation and parent company Axis Europe plc.

The Axis Foundation has reached a milestone of 10 years of donations to small, local, impactful causes. #10YrsGiving

 

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