East Park is a registered charity providing residential care and education to children and young people aged 5 to 25 across Scotland. The young people they support have complex needs such as ASD, physical and sensory impairments, learning difficulties and behavioural challenges. In 2016 East Park launched a unique intensive Support Service in a purpose built 6 bedroomed residential house with 4 classrooms for children whose needs and/or behaviour exclude them from accessing other support services. Through active engagement with Curriculum for Excellent, Getting it Right for Every Child and the National Care standards, their innovative and personal approach has enabled individuals to reach their maximum potential. The request to ACT was for help to fund a smart panel - an interactive white board which combines the simplicity of a white board with the power of a computer enabling teaching staff to deliver dynamic lessons that are particularly suited to the children they are teaching. ACT were pleased to be able to donate the £4K they require to purchase this equipment.
£4K for East Park
£1,760 to Race Against Multiple Sclerosis
Race Against Multiple Sclerosis (RAMS) is a registered charity that seeks to relieve the suffering and to improve the health and lives of those living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and other degenerative diseases in Northern Ireland. As well as offering specialised therapies, rehabilitation programmes, counselling and information, they provide hyperbaric oxygen therapy in one of only 3 chambers in the country which improves their clients mobility, balance and co-ordination, sleep, energy levels, pain and vision. They currently deliver 150-170 treatments every month and are expecting to receive more than 100 new referrals this year. In order to successfully treat 100 new clients they needed additional oxygen and items of specialist breathing equipment. ACT were happy to bridge their funding gap with a pledge of of £1,762 to enable them to purchase this vital equipment.
£8K Pledge to Growing Well
Growing Well is a farm based mental health charity near Kendal in Cumbria. Their vision is for people living with and recovering from poor mental health to be active, included in their communities and encouraged to understand their worth. They believe that change is possible no matter how unwell someone is. They are a City and Guilds registered training centre and provide horticultural training to improve skills, confidence and employability. Meaningful activity is underpinned at the charity by 1:1 specialist support using the "Recovery Star" model. This holistic tool helps people assess certain areas of their life and works to support strengths, not weaknesses. This process then underpins goal setting for an individual which can be worked towards over an open period of time.
Their request to ACT was for help to fund the balance they require to be able to commence the buildling of a bespoke catering structure from which meals will be created for the charity's daily workforce (25 people) by a team of their clients (known as volunteers). This is overseen and guided by a qualified member of staff and volunteers are supported to gain experience in all aspects of a working kitchen, menu planning, foraging for ingredients from the fields, preparing, service and clearing up. ACT were delighted to be able to pledge the shortfall required of £8K.
£1,800 for Specialist Walker
The mother of a 36 year old man who has cerebral palsy and a learning disability applied to us for help to fund a specialist walking frame for her son. He was unfortunately no longer able to use his previous walker as he required assistance to get up and onto it. A new walker was identified that, as well as supporting his walking, helps his bladder/bowel function, improves his circulation and helps to maintain bone strength and soft tissue length. The new walker is more easily accessible and better for his carers at the day service he attends as it can be lowered and raised. Most importantly it will enable him to be independently mobile again allowing him to explore his environment and interact with peers. ACT were pleased to be able to make a pledge of £1800.
£656 Pledge for Specialist Weighted Vest
The mother of an 11 year old girl who has a diagnosis of autism and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome applied to us for help to fund a weighted vest and blanket. The girl has significant difficulties with body awareness and vestibular processing which result in balance and coordination problems and many other difficulties which affect her day to day activities. Her OT's recommendation of a chain weighted blanket and weighted vest will hopefully help to relieve the agitation and anxiety she feels and improve her insomnia. ACT were very pleased to be able to make this pledge and hope that these items will be of great benefit.
£7,885 for Unique Ways
Unique Ways is a registered charity set up to support disabled children to help improve their quality of life through positive change. Their services include 1-2-1 help, guidance and signposting to essential services, resources such as training courses and sensory toys, information to ensure families are well informed, support for families to help them to cope with diagnosis and the EHC plan assessment process and influence through their associated project, Family Voice, to enable the collective voice of parent carers and their children and young people with disabilities to be heard. They currently help 1200 families with children who have a disability and their support is given irrespective of a medical diagnosis. Their application to ACT was for help to fund an upgrade of their sensory toy library to provide new sensory toys and specialist equipment. The library has proved very popular and has many benefits such as allowing parent carers to trial specific items to ensure suitability before buying. ACT were pleased to be able to pledge a donation of £7,885 towards the upgrade.
£5K for Age Concern
Age Concern North Norfolk is an independent charity established in 1996 with the aim of promoting the quality of life of older people. Their services include a day services hub that offers a range of personal care and social activities and a choice of home cooked healthy meals, signposting and information, group activities, a befriending service with home visits and inter-generational events and visits where opportunities are created for young and older people to share experiences and to exchange knowledge and skills. They approached ACT seeking funds to upgrade and adapt their existing bathroom and toilet facilities so that they could better meet the needs of the older people they help and so that the facilities were suitable for those with mobility issues. The funding of this upgrade will improve access, remove the likelihood of injury, improve independence and reduce the need for carers or family members to risk their health when assisting. ACT were very pleased to be able to pledge £5K towards the project.
£2K for Braille Note Touch
A 28 year old lady who is registered blind, applied to us for assistance to fund a Braille Note Touch - a tablet with fully fledged Braille support. The lady who also suffers with mental health issues, is unable to use ordinary technology and this adds to the feelings she has of isolation and loneliness. Her healthcare support says this piece of equipment will "help her beyond belief" in terms of her mental health and independence and she will be able to enjoy creative writing. ACT were pleased to be able to pledge £2K.
£10K for Watford Workshop
Watford Workshop is a registered charity seeking to provide employment, work experience, skills development and training for people with disabilities/learning difficulties who are of working age. They train people in both independent living skills and employment related skills in areas such as assembly and packaging work, fork lift truck driving, first aid and office administration with the aim that their more able users will move on to unsupported mainstream employment. Having recently been donated a large portacabin, they approached us for funding to help them to be able to employ the necessary 4 professional trainers they needed to be able to offer additional personal development and independent living skills training (18 hours per week for up to 60 service users for 12 months). They also required materials and teaching aids. ACT were pleased to offer a pledge of £10K towards their new project.
£5K for The South Wales Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre
South Wales Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre is a registered charity that provides a range of services such as physiotherapy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy to people with MS. Their treatments are offered as a means to help those suffering cope with their illness and to provide relief from its symptoms. The centre also provides services to people who have suffered a stroke, have arthritic conditions, diabetes and to those who have suffered injuries such as ligament strains or limb fractures as the hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been found to promote healing. They receive no government funding and are reliant on the generosity of the local community to keep going. The application to ACT was for help to fund a new Oxygen Chamber which can hold 9 people. This would significantly improve waiting times for this popular therapy and allow the centre to increase its revenue as they would be able to treat more clients. ACT's pledge of £5,000 will help them on their fundraising way.