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.
£10K for Watford Workshop
£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.
£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.
£5K to Crossroads Care, Surrey
Crossroads Care Surrey (CCS) exists to improve the quality of life for disabled and vulnerable people living in Surrey and their volunteer carers. The charity operates 9 adult social clubs including one which is specifically available to those with dementia. They do this to help combat the feelings of isolation and loneliness felt by a vast number of older people and to provide a few hours respite to those who care for them. The clubs provide an opportunity for people with varying disabilities to engage with each other in a range of activities including baking, gardening, choir and memory and ball games for a few hours a day during most weekdays and on Saturdays. A home-made meal is always provided. CCS's application was for help with funding of equipment and resources for five of the clubs where equipment is required. ACT were delighted to be able to pledge £5,000.
£2,500 to Portland College
Portland College is a charity that since 1949 has been reaching out to vulnerable young people who have severe disabilities and life-limiting health concerns. They seek to deliver health and wellbeing transformational change for their learners and help the wider community. The application they made to ACT was for funding towards equipment for their Recovery College project - an integrated care and coordinated approach for young adults who have a mental health challenge in order to facilitate long-term change. Portland College will be working with 250 young people to identify their individual needs together with the skills and abilities they have and to agree a plan on the way forward for them. They will work closely with Nottingham Healthcare Trust delivering coping strategies, workshops on health, wellbeing and employment, coping strategies and support towards long-term employment opportunities. ACT were pleased to be able to pledge £2,500 towards their equipment needs.
£1,500 for a Wall Mounted Hoist
We received an application from the mother of a 10 year old boy who has cerebral palsy. The boy, a full-time wheelchair user, is hoisted for all transfers. He uses an aid and Makaton to communicate. His mum's request to ACT was for help to fund a hoist capable of transferring him from his wheelchair to the outside hot tub he uses to treat painful spasms in his lower limbs. ACT were pleased to be able to pledge a £1,500 donation to help the family with the cost of an appropriate hoist which was fully supported by his OT.
£2K for SmartDrive Power Assist
A young man who has a mid thoracic complete paraplegia following a road traffic accident applied to us for help to fund a SmartDrive Power Assist to his manual wheelchair. The man suffers with pain in his shoulders and has had to undergo surgery to relieve this. He also has pain in his hands which affects him being able to propel his wheelchair. His Consultant Surgeon says the provision of the SmartDrive will help to reduce his current symptoms and will prevent future problems to his shoulders and hands. ACT were pleased to be able to pledge a donation of £2K to help him on his fundraising way.
£3,350 to Dingley's Promise
Dingley's Promise is a registered charity with the mission to deliver life changing support to under 5's with additional needs and disabilities and their families by providing specialist learning through play, family support and training. They also offer advice to mainstream settings. They have 3 Centres located in Newbury, Wokingham and Reading and their main objectives are to reach as many children as possible, ensure every child transitions to the best educational option for them when they leave Dingley, offer year round support to both parents and children, network and signpost to ensure all of the child's needs are met and ensure parents are given choices and their voices are heard. Their application to ACT was for a mobile and height adjustable changing table for their Newbury Centre. Many of their children they look after have autism, Asperger's syndrome, cerebral palsy, Down's syndrome, global developmental delay, physical disabilities and life-limiting conditions. They wear nappies beyond the typical toddler stage and staff are required to change nappies for older and heavier children. ACT were delighted to be able to fund this essential piece of equipment which will ease manoeuvrability, be safer and be more hygienic.
£5,000 for Bradbury Fields
Founded in 1857, Bradbury Fields is the oldest and largest provider of services for people with sight loss in Merseyside. They offer a wide range of services and activities from rehabilitation training to benefits advice and counselling to more than 1,500 people per year. They also organise social activities to help combat feelings of isolation, loneliness and depression which often accompany sight loss. Their aim is to promote independence, offer emotional support and to provide practical solutions to everyday difficulties faced by their users. Their application to ACT was for help to fund the conversion of their existing reception area to provide a new reception area/resource centre where they will have the space they need to be able to demonstrate specialist equipment and technology to those requiring assistance. ACT were pleased to be able to pledge a donation of £5,000.