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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Axis CEO John Hayes handing over mini bus to Maypole charityDisability

The Maypole Project

Support for parents of children with life-threatening illnesses

The long and happy relationship between The Maypole Project and the Axis Foundation dates back to 2016. Then the Foundation donated a minibus to this Bromley-based charity supporting the families of children with life-threatening illnesses.

Christened Mayble, the minibus transports over 500 children a year to different events and activities. Mayble also carries parents who lack transport to support groups, events and activities.

“Everyone at The Maypole Project was absolutely amazed and delighted to hear that we were successful in our bid to gain a minibus. It will make a huge impact on the services we can provide to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families – where transport is frequently a major block to access. We will also be able to develop activities and outings that we have, until this point, put on hold! A winning asset all round – thank you Axis!” – Sally Flatteau Taylor, Founder and CEO of Maypole

“I think it’s brilliant. So many of us struggle just with the day-to-day and to get to a place is difficult. It will be great to get on the minibus and support the child there rather than have the child in the back of a small car, trying to take their seat belt off” – Maypole parent Ros Luff

“We would like to say a massive THANK YOU to the team at Axis for donating our wonderful minibus, Mayble. The Maypole Project organises lots of wonderful outings in their minibus which enable my child with special needs to be alongside their siblings … we think it’s absolutely amazing. Thank you to the team at Axis for donating Mayble, we would be lost without The Maypole Project’s support” Maypole parent

2017: Funding toys and equipment

The Axis Foundation made a further donation (£9,000, 2017) which helped purchase sensory toys and a wheelchair lift.

Then, Sally Flatteau Taylor said: “Those who are chronically ill get great joy out of playing with sensory toys. The wheelchair lift gives direct and easy access to the family support room and the toilet which has been incredibly helpful for the children and their families. It has helped us support so many more children. It gives the children better access inside and outside of the building. The support from the Axis Foundation is amazing  is phenomenal for our charity. We really do appreciate it. It’s been really good to have the Axis Foundation’s support and belief in the work that we do.”

2018: Building a Sensory Barn for Maypole

In 2018 Axis Apprentices created a Sensory Barn in Maypole’s garden. This enabled all Maypole children to play safely in a stimulating and interactive room. It had long been on the wish list at Maypole and Axis was happy to help out. The full story of the Sensory Barn with pictures and video is here!

2019/ 2020: More support for Maypole

In 2019, the Axis Foundation made a further donation of £1,500 to help Maypole with their drumming workshops, which due to COVID-19 became online activities in 2020. A further donation of £5,000 in 2020 purchased more soft toys for the sensory cabin (built by Axis) and supported taking families on outings.

Maypole families said:

“Thanks so much again for accommodating us, it was such a lovely space for the kids. We had great fun and a great break.”

“We came to the horse-grooming/walking activity in Tonbridge and my child thoroughly enjoyed it. The peaceful setting, the one-to-one careful attention he received all helped to make it so memorable and enjoyable for him.”

“Thank you so much for the outing – we had great fun this morning.”

2021: Bespoke play boxes

The Axis Foundation funded 40 play boxes tailored to an individual disabled child’s needs with a donation of £1500 (2021). The Maypole Project recruited a play therapist to work face to face with the children (some of this online) during the Pandemic.

Total donations to Maypole

Our donations to Maypole Project, supporting families of children with life-threatening illnesses, came to £65,000 in 2021.

Here is what Sally Flatteau Taylor said to us in 2021:

We can’t thank you enough for the wonderful donations you have provided us across the years. They are all in constant use:
Minibus – used in lockdown to make visits to families and in full use every day during the summer holidays when we had had our fullest programme of outings and excitement yet  including visits to the beach, riding, sailing, bowling, climbing and even to a shopping centre
Stairlift for back office – well in use: as the pandemic lifted we found families were desperately in need of new spaces, new activities, new toys and sensations for the children so we turned the back office into a soft and sensory play space initially used by one family alone (cleaned between sessions by one of our team) and now more families can meet there.
Gardenin full use, as it was when your team wonderfully transformed it!
Sensory Cabinwe have added much sensory equipment in there to make it a play therapy centre for children, and a quiet and calming space for adults
Play Therapy and Play Boxes: The children LOVE THEM and they are a definite and permanent feature of our work.

There’s more about Maypole here

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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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Sensory Log Cabin at Two Rivers special needs schoolDisability

Simon’s Heroes

Sensory log cabin for children at a special school

Simon’s Heroes supports life-limited and disabled children in Tamworth, Staffordshire. They provide, for example, mobility equipment, wheelchairs, frames, profiling beds, sensory equipment, bedroom makeovers and short breaks for families and children when time is short and precious.

The Axis Foundation’s donation of £3,000 will help Simon’s Heroes with their project at local special needs school Two Rivers in Tamworth. The donation will contribute to providing a sensory log cabin, where essential therapy sessions will be held.

Here, 120 children whose disabilities range from cystic fibrosis to cerebral palsy, downs syndrome and the full autism spectrum will use the cabin which will continue to improve the experience of children attending the school for years to come.

“The sensory lodge will be a calming and peaceful area for individual children to use to carry out their therapy session. With the sensory equipment and space, this is the perfect area away from the main school building. We can’t thank Axis enough for their generosity. To be able to provide the sensory lodge is a dream come true not only for us, but for the children now and in the future.” Justin Haywood Chairman

The Axis Foundation is celebrating its 10th Birthday this year, signifying ten years of support for small, local, impactful causes. Share the good news #10yrsgiving

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Axis Foundation trustees present 2018 cheque to DemelzaDemelza

Donation to Demelza 2018 – £70,000

We presented our donation to Demelza  – a cheque for £70,000 – at the second Alan Curbishley Celebrity Golf Day in May 2018.

This took the total Axis/Axis Foundation donation to Demelza nearly £540,000.

John Hayes, Axis Europe’s CEO, presented the cheque to our charity partner saying: “Demelza has remained dear to the hearts of all Axis people for a long time and we shall continue to support this incredible charity in their work ‘adding life to days when days cannot be added to life.’ I know that I speak for everyone at Axis when I say how profoundly moved and delighted we are to have a charity partner which has such an impact on those lives it touches.

“I am delighted to present this donation to Demelza: a cheque for £70,000 from all of us at Axis, knowing that this donation will make a real difference in Demelza’s hands.”

Ryan Campbell CBE, Chief Executive, Demelza Hospice Care for Children said: “Axis Europe and the Axis Foundation have been fantastic to us with unwavering, constant support for the last 14 years, raising over £540,000. We are so proud to be one of Axis’s chosen charities.
We are overwhelmed every year by their kindness and generosity to the extremely ill children we support. We really couldn’t continue to provide our tailored, expert care to so many families without them.
“On behalf of these babies, children and teenagers and their families; our staff and our volunteers, thank you so so much for this Donation to Demelza 2018.”

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Demelza Award for Arctic Challenge Extreme fundraising trekDemelza

Prize for Chilly Challengers!

The Axis Arctic Challenge team wins coveted Demelza Business Prize for their extreme fundraising adventure on behalf of our charity partner

The Axis Arctic Challengers raised funds for Demelza Children’s Hospice by braving the cold, heat and dangers of the Arctic. They conquered Mount Kebna – dizzy heights indeed!

The challengers are Christopher Houlihan, Gary Perfect, Philip Twin John Bull and Daniel Blake. Through the hardships of snow, heat, dizzy fits, thirst and hunger, they said that what kept them going was remembering the children for whom Demelza cares.

This was reward in itself for the challengers. But they were delighted to learn that their supreme efforts scooped them Demelza’s Bespoke Fundraising Event of the Year Award – We were also nominated for the Silver Outstanding Corporate Supporter Award!

The judges said

Announcing our win, the judges said that our team “took on a tremendous challenge… They hit extreme and unexpected weather, even causing them hallucinations! But they battled through and completed their trek. Very worthy award winners.”

We said

Our Arctic Five said: “We are so pleased that Demelza gave us this award. We pushed ourselves to a place we did not know existed. We kept thinking about the kids at Demelza. We had a hard few days. Their entire life is hard. We got a real sense of achievement.”

Our Community Investment Coordinator Kellie Durey said: “We cannot thank Demelza enough for our nominations and the big win: it is lovely to see that our support is both appreciated and recognised.”

Congratulations to the Axis Arctic Challengers for their extreme fundraising efforts!

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Five Men on summit of Arctic Mountain for Demelza Arctic Challenge FundraiserDemelza

Axis Arctic Challenge

Chilly Challengers Fly the Flag for Demelza on Arctic Fundraiser

Well done to the Axis Arctic Challengers who went all the way to the top of Mount Kebna in the Arctic Circle – raising funds for our Axis Foundation charity partner Demelza

The Chilly Challenge

Axis people Christopher Houlihan, Gary Perfect, Philip Twin John Bull and Daniel Blake decided they would take on the chilly challenges of the Arctic Circle to raise money for Demelza Children’s Hospice, the charity partner of both Axis and the Axis Foundation  supporting children with life-limiting illnesses.

The Adventure Begins!

On the first leg of their Arctic Challenge fundraiser, the team arrived at base camp on the first night – in great spirits if a little burnt and tired! The following day they went from 25 degrees C to minus 10; sweltering heat to hail and glaciers; hot rocky terrain to waist-high snow drifts; suffering cramp, dizziness painful injuries and bearing heavy kit: our Arctic Challengers certainly had to dig deep to reach the heights.

Would they do it again?

In total the Arctic Challenge fundraiser provided £10,000 for Demelza. They said:

“Yes, without a doubt we would do it again. We got a real sense of achievement. We pushed ourselves to a place we did not know existed. Throughout the Arctic Challenge fundraiser, we kept thinking about the kids at Demelza. We had a hard few days. Their entire life is hard. The money we raised will make a difference.”

An exclusive extract from the diary of the Arctic Challenge Team

“No sooner had we left the first valley did our fears become reality, a storm, fearsome freezing winds, hail & snow coming straight at us and whilst we needed to descend quickly our only route back was up into another valley totally exposed and heading into the storm. There was no safe opportunity for photos here. We stuck to what rockery we could but then found open snow to cross, increasing in distance as visibility was so poor and with the weather worsening all the time – thunder and lighting now!

“No option but to continue we pushed and pushed, falling down in snow or twisting ankles on rocks, with one of us even becoming stuck and needing to be dug out! The valley seemed endless and the weather relentless, progress was perilously slow. We were wet, cold through and totally exposed and our gear barely sufficient for such conditions!

“Eventually we began to descend and with it the hail and snow became rain and the wind lessened to allow us look up, what we saw was a long valley and 6 wet cold hikers! Kebna had broken us but not beaten us!”

Axis would like to thank the following for their support, sponsorship and pledges:
Advanced Drains, Camview Security, Clearline, D&D Plumbing & Electrical, Danacom Ltd, Hallowell Electrical, Hydrotech, Leander Services, M&R Ltd, Paul Grindley, Pump Practitioners, PV Electrical, Raysaleccy, Rob Mellish, Roofmaster, SH Plumbing, Synergy and W&K Interiors.

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Two ladies at Omega life care laughing together.Care

Omega Care For Life

Befriending groups for End of Life Charity

Omega Care for Life is a multi-award winning end-of-life charity which helps caring families, bereaved former caregivers and clients who are to coming to terms with terminal illness. Their motto is: “Caring is everyone’s business.”

The Axis Foundation donated £2,000 to Omega Care for Life’s vital support networks.

“We’re using your generous grant to support two new groups: one an informal regular gathering of Chatterbox Befrienders and Co-ordinators and an income-generating Friendship and Omega Supporters Group… The clients we help are often socially isolated and benefit enormously from peer-support. Omega groups are a gateway to other sources of help and information offered by Omega and our delivery partners” – Tom Memery, Development Director

More About Omega Care for Life

Based in the West Midlands, Omega’s initiatives include the Chatterbox Action Against Loneliness and Crisis Support programme, a telephone-enhanced befriending service. They also offer a network of 13 Meeting Point support and friendship groups for caregivers and former carers. In addition, there is a Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Family Support Programme and life-changing, therapeutic work opportunities.

 

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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

 

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Momentum Children's Charity hospital room decorated with wildlife theme.Care

Momentum Children’s Charity

Transforming hospital experience for children with cancer and life-limiting illnesses

The Axis Foundation donated £3,500 to help Momentum Children’s Charity‘s transformation of the Frog Isolation Room on the Rupert Bear Paediatric Ward in Croydon University Hospital.

Momentum supports families of children with cancer and life-limiting illnesses living in South West London and Surrey. Children who have cancer and life-limiting illnesses often spend a huge amount of their time in hospital, from their diagnosis and throughout their treatment. Isolation rooms ensure they do not catch any further infections and some children can be in these rooms for up to 10 days at a time.

Bearing this in mind, the new decor at Croydon University Hospital features Momentum’s mascot Mo the Owl and other wildlife including frogs, ladybirds and butterflies and plants. This redecoration project has created a bright and happy space providing the young patients with positive distractions and enriching toys to make their time in hospital a little bit easier.

“We wanted to make a difference for the children and to make their memories of staying in hospital positive. Something as simple as improving the environment can make a huge difference. The Axis Foundation and our other supporters have allowed us to make a massive difference in the hospital and for the children” – Tara MacDowel, Head of Fundraising and Communications

“Enhancing the healing environment in hospitals is a large part of Momentum’s work. Studies have shown that a good hospital environment can greatly improve a child’s recovery time and of course the staff also benefit from a brighter, more welcoming place in which to work. So we are grateful to all of you at the Axis Foundation. With your donation we have been able to transform the Isolation Room at Croydon University Hospital into a wonderful welcoming space for our young cancer patients. … thank you again for your support” – Bianca Effemey, Co-Founder

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