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.
£1,760 to Race Against Multiple Sclerosis
£4K for East Park
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.
£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.