Chloe O Donnell witnessed the devastating effects of isolation and loss of mobility on local resident Ashley Clarke.
Chloe is a Site Manager at Axis Europe. She and her team were carrying out major repairs and maintenance works on the west London estate where Ashley lives: once she had seen Ashley’s plight, assessed the situation and established what would help Ashley most, Chloe applied to the Axis Foundation asking for help.
As a result of Chloe’s recommendations, the Axis Foundation bought Ashley a power-assisted wheelchair. Axis also fitted new automatic doors to accommodate the new chair.
Thanking the Foundation Chloe said: ‘“Ashley is obviously thrilled and has asked me to pass on his immeasurable gratitude to all involved in the process.”
More about our donation
Ashley Clarke is a severely disabled gentleman. He has severe arthritis in both hands, is paralyzed down his left side and has also had his left leg amputated.
Ashley’s carers place him in his wheelchair from his bed every morning, but his disabilities (he cannot use his hands) mean he can only move the wheelchair using his right foot. He has been housebound for three years, and spent most of that time stuck in one room.
As a result of an application by Chloe O Donnell, Axis Site Manager, the Axis Foundation donated a power-assisted wheel chair to Ashley. And we also fitted new automatic front door: at the press of a button or fob, the door opens so Ashley can easily manoeuvre himself and the chair in and out of his home.
Thanking the Foundation Chloe said: ‘“Ashley is obviously thrilled and has asked me to pass on his immeasurable gratitude to all involved in the process.
“Ashley has reiterated how life-changing this is: the new chair enables him to move freely around the house and go to the local park/shop/pub. It also means he can take himself to and from appointments at the local hospital which is a 10 minute ride away in on the new chair so he doesn’t have to wait (sometimes up to six hours) for an NHS car to take him home.
“He said he’d got so used to shuffling round using his leg to move his wheelchair that he hadn’t quite realised how difficult his life had become: having the power-assisted chair is just amazing and makes everything so easy.
“The first thing he wanted to do with his new found freedom was to treat his friend, who’s been helping care for him, to a Sunday lunch.
“I also wanted to say thank you again to the Axis Foundation for the opportunity to change someone’s life and I hope the case study on this encourages other members of staff to apply.”
Our donation provides a wet room – plus privacy, dignity, independence and better quality of life for Brenda
As a consequence of Brenda’s major health issues, she is unable to bathe without assistance. Lifting her legs into the bath causes her too much pain. But thanks to the Foundation’s donation of £6,280, Brenda now has a wet room which will give her the privacy and independence she needs.
“I would like to thank everyone who was involved at Axis that has made this happen. You have made one very happy woman. This has meant so much to me and I appreciate all the hard work that has gone into making my wet room just so I can have a bit of dignity and independence brought back into my life. I would just like to thank Mark, Anthony and Matt for all of their hard work in making my wet room a reality. They have worked so hard to make my life so much easier. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart” – Brenda
Two months following Brenda’s 50th Birthday in 2011 she fell ill with flu-like symptoms. Within a month she was unable to walk without the aid of a walking stick. Soon she had to use a walking frame, and her mobility continued to deteriorate so she was unable to leave the house alone or without the aid of a wheelchair/electric scooter. She couldn’t continue at her job in a pharmaceutical factory because walking aids are not allowed on the factory floor.
Brenda has been through years of rigorous tests. But sadly her condition continues to deteriorate with no official diagnosis. She now has limited movement in her body and is constantly in pain, taking multiple medications.
There is very little anyone can do to make Brenda’s condition any better at the moment. Bbut there are ways of improving her quality of life dramatically. We all take jumping in the shower for granted. But for Brenda, installing a new wet room, thanks to the Foundation, has given her some independence and most importantly restored her dignity and given her a better quality of life generally too.
Lorrae Mannering, Commercial Manager here at Axis, asked the Axis Foundation to help her aunt Brenda and we were delighted to support her application.
Mobility for MS Sufferers – and their carers too – at MS Therapy Centre
Our donation of £3,173 helped MS Therapy Centre (NW) purchase a new Raizer II Chair. The Raizer II emergency lifting chair helps fallen people get back on their feet with ease. And, as it only needs one person to work it, the specialist chair helps the carers at the Centre too.
“People like you at the Axis Foundation mean we can provide the best for all our members and give them peace of mind. If someone should fall in our centre we have the equipment to safely get them up. Thank you Axis Foundation for the donation. It means the world to all of us here at the MS Therapy Centre (NW)” – Sean Halsall Fundraiser
More about our donation
Lockdowns as a result of the Pandemic mean that MS Therapy Centre members have not been active for the past 12 months. Some have become physically unstable. Our donation will provide immediate and long term support to members particularly after a fall – and carers too.
More about the MS Therapy Centre
Established in 2004, the MS Therapy Centre (NW) provides a wide range of therapies and services in a caring and supporting environment to enrich the lives of their 400 members and to limit the effects of MS on sufferers.
Two donations help more disabled people enjoy fishing
British Disabled Angling Association (BDAA) points out that disabled people are excluded from fishing by poor design, not their disability. Many mobility and visually-impaired people have difficulties even getting near the water’s edge.
So, our donation of £3,450 to BDAA 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
Our earlier donation of £3,300 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. By working with SEN Schools, the BDAA hopes fishing clubs can become part of academic structures in the future.
Harry Bowen, from Penn Hall School fishing club, commented: “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.”
“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
The British Disabled Angling Association (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. As such, angling can change the lives of disabled people. And BDAA offers inclusive fishing opportunities to disabled people of all ages and disability. The charity provides adapted equipment, disabled platforms and access, services, information, support and practical advice on all issues encompassing angling.
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
When a good friend saw that fellow MS sufferer Alice Tilley would benefit from a mobility scooter, she applied to the Axis Foundation for help on Alice’s behalf. We were delighted to help with a donation of £2,175 so Alice could have a mobility scooter.
More about Alice
Alice Tilley, 28, has an aggressive form of relapse and remitting MS. When she has a relapse Alice is unable to walk unaided. She cannot drive and is totally reliant on her parents to get her around.
Claire Pearce, who works at Axis, also suffers from MS. After she applied to us, the Axis Foundation bought a lightweight mobility scooter for Claire. And so Claire applied for one for her friend Alice too.
“I have limited mobility and the mobility scooter that the Axis Foundation purchased for me gave me a huge amount of independence. A mobility scooter will help Alice too,” says Claire.
And the Axis Foundation was delighted to help Claire’s friend. Thanking us for our donation of £2,175 Alice said: “I was able to choose the world’s lightest mobility scooter which I can pack into our car.
This is going to make such a difference to my independence and the management of my mobility. Thank you Axis Foundation.”
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.
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.
2022: Sensory play equipment
The Axis Foundation donated £6,866 towards sensory equipment, children’s t-shirts, and team sweatshirts. The sensory equipment includes floor mats, wall toys, fibre optic sparkle rugs, liquid floor tiles and light up toys.
“We are so truly appreciative of this generous award from the Axis Foundation to The Maypole Project – and of course all of the support – both financial and practical through the apprentices work in our buildings – you and your team have given us over the years that it’s hard to find the words” – Sally Flatteau Taylor, Founder and CEO of Maypole
Total donations to Maypole
Our donations to Maypole Project, supporting families of children with life-threatening illnesses, came to £66,000 in 2022.
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.
Garden – in full use, as it was when your team wonderfully transformed it!
Sensory Cabin – we 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.
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
Improving access for theatre goers with disability
Worcester Live has increased the access for 1250 people at the Worcester Rep by offering support to theatre patrons with additional needs. These include:
signed performances for deaf and hearing impaired patrons;
audio described performances for blind and visual impaired patrons
relaxed performance – for audience members with specific disabilities such as autism, learning difficulties, physical disabilities, spectrum conditions and dementia
The Axis Foundation’s donation of £3,000 to Worcester Live will go towards paying for the expert specialised trained interpreter who will deliver signed performances for deaf and hearing-impaired patrons and also to necessary specialised equipment. This will help Worcester Live continue to provide this service of access for patrons with disabilities and specialised needs.
“We are delighted to have received the donation from the Axis Foundation, which will help us in reaching out to our patrons with additional needs. The support, which is so valuable, will help us in providing Signed, Audio Described and Relaxed performances at the Swan Theatre during the next year.
“We are so thrilled to be able to offer minority groups in our community the opportunity to come into our venue and see shows, knowing they are being provided for at a level that is right for them and accessing the performances no matter what their additional needs may be.
“Thank you for helping us to make the magic of live theatre become real for all our community” – Chris Jaeger, Chief Executive, Worcester Live
Improving quality of life for two children by purchasing specialist equipment
Newlife Foundation is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illnesses. In their care areOlivia and Ryan who, at the time of our donation, were both around eight years old.
Olivia has a genetic disorder that affects the nervous system. So, the Foundation donated £2,899 to Newlife towards a specialist bed that will improve her quality of life and provide relief for both herself and her family.
Ryan’s disability means he has to be hoisted in and out of his wheelchair whenever he needs to use the bathroom, have a wash or go to bed. There is a ceiling track hoist in his home but Ryan’s family were very limited to where they could take him. So, the Axis Foundation donated £1,020 to Newlife towards a portable hoist for Ryan, meaning that they can take him to exciting new places for longer periods.
“We would like to say a huge thank you to the Axis Foundation for their support of Newlife and our family – this will make a big difference. Having a portable hoist that we can put in the boot of the car and take with us wherever we want to go will make a huge difference to Ryan’s life. There are endless possibilities. Ryan has never been able to play in a paddling pool in the garden but this summer he will be able to enjoy this simple pleasure. We will be able to be more adventurous about where we go for days out with Ryan and even consider a family holiday” – Ryan’s Mum, Victoria
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