BeFriends is a Dundee based charity that was established in 1981 with the aim of providing help and support to vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people (aged 5-18) in the Dundee area. Through its befriending service, fully trained and vetted volunteers of the charity seek to make positive change to the lives of the children, raise aspirations and help them to realise their potential, build upon skills and abilities, enhance social and communication skills and encourage responsibility for behaviour and actions. The children and volunteers enjoy activities together once per week or once every two weeks. These activities provide the opportunity to have fun and gain new experiences and are a time when discussions can open up about any problems or difficulties the child/young person may be having. ACT were pleased to be able to help with a donation of £7,468 towards outings, activities and equipment.
£7,468 for BeFriends
£2,500 for a specialist Pacer Gait Trainer
The Physiotherapist of a 12 year old who has four limb cerebral palsy applied to us for a specialist pacer gait trainer. This young person requires support in all positions as he is unable to roll, sit, stand or walk independently and he uses a wheelchair and supportive equipment throughout each day. He is PEG fed and communicates with his eyes and some gestures. He has recently been practicing walking using a hoist and with two adults supporting him and has really enjoyed it. This has led to him trialling a specialist gait trainer which he has started to move independently. His Physiotherapist fully supports his application and says he will benefit from the walker as it will allow him to exercise and improve his muscle strength, endurance and stamina. It will also help to reduce chest infections and prevent migration of his hips and possible bone sugery in the future. ACT were delighted to be able to pledge a donation of £2,500.
£15K for Crossroads Care
Crossroads Care has been an accredited provider of care for over 30 years, holding several contracts with local councils. They provide support throughout Oxfordshire, West Berkshire and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead offering a range of different services including short-term holiday breaks and day trips for children with disabilities and complex care needs (including those with autism, physical disabilities and life-limiting illnesses). The charity has two adapted caravans on a holiday park in Minehead which they use throughout the year and employ staff who are fully trained in all aspects of care for the 77 children who benefit. Recently however Crossroads lost their vital funding from Social Services and have had to seek funding elsewhere to be able to continue to offer this valuable respite. ACT were delighted to be able to donate £15K towards helping them to keep this part of their service going.
£1,070 for Electronic Magnifier
The mother of a 7 year old girl with a dignosis of ocular albinism applied to us for help to fund an electronic magnifier. The young girl is partially sighted and, aside from her main diagnosis, has many other vision complications. The provision of a specialist magnifier will enable her to enlarge books and homework which will be most useful in her studies for years to come. ACT were pleased to be able to pledge a donation of £1,070 towards the total cost.
£25K for Isle of Wight Youth Trust
The Isle of Wight Youth Trust is a charity dedicated to supporting children and young people who are facing disadvantage on the Island. With their core focus being mental health, they seek to bridge the gap between statutory service provision and the needs of young people and do this by offering a range of services such as professional counselling. They are moving to new headquarters which will provide them with more space and this will help to lessen waiting times and deal with the increase in demand for their services. Their application to ACT was for capital assistance to help fund the move. ACT were pleased to be able to help with a donation of £25K.
£2,335 for a Wheelchair Attachment
A 44 year old man who has limb girdle muscular dystrophy applied to us for help to fund a specialist attachment for his wheelchair. This attachment is a revolutionary power assist device that can quickly and easily be fixed to any wheelchair and enable the user to power up the steepest hills and over the thickest carpets. Our applicant has a young family and although he self propels most of the time, family days out are sometimes cut short as he becomes fatigued and has to ask for help. The provision of this piece of equipment will make life a little easier and promote independence. ACT were delighted to be able to pledge a donation of £2,335.
£5K for Age Concern Liverpool & Sefton
Age Concern Liverpool & Sefton is an independent, local charity working with and for older people in Merseyside. They offer a diverse and effective range of welfare, community and health oriented services to look after and assist older people such as home care and support, exercise classes, befriending and reablement, telephone and office based advice and social activities. Their application was for capital funding for the construction of a mezzanine floor within a building they own, The Poppy Centre. This development will enable staff to relocate from 3 ground floor rooms freeing up space to house small group activities to those living with dementia. The 3 extra rooms will serve as a greatly needed supplementary facility and will provide space for carers to go for a break and a nurse led, day care service incorporating meaningful, therapeutic and enjoyable activities and socialisation for up to 25 older people. ACT were pleased to be able to help out with a donation of £5K.
£6K to Caritas Anchor House
Caritas Anchor House is a charity that works with vulnerable groups including those affected by homelessness. They have a holistic approach and use their innovative "Aspirations Programme" to assist in personal development. The programme addresses all aspects of a person's life including health & wellbeing, recreational and therapeutic activities, financial management, education, volunteering and training, etc. The charity is based in Newham, one of the most deprived boroughs in the UK and provides a home and has given support to over 300 people in the last year. Their application to ACT was for help to upgrade their computer equipment and ACT were delighted to be able to pledge a grant of £6K to help towards the purchase of 10 new monitors and desktops.
£1,200 for Respite
A 44 year old lady who has a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome and many other health complications applied to us for funding towards a one week break at The Calvert Trust respite centre. The respite centre provides care with challenging outdoor activities and they focus equally on both carers and the cared for. ACT were very pleased to be able to help with a pledge of £1,200.
£10K to Canterbury Oast Trust
Canterbury Oast Trust is a registered charity that supports adults with a learning disability to live more independently and to take control of their lives by providing a home, personal development and learning and inspiring work experiences. They have 18 individual family-style homes in community locations across Kent and East Sussex and provide care services matched to the needs of individuals. They also operate a number of training projects which help to generate income to support their work. They have over 90 residents and tenants and a further 100 people who use their services. Their application to ACT was funding towards the build of a Life Skills Academy to allow them to increase the number of student placements they are able to offer and to provide a much improved learning environment for their students and staff. This new academy be nearly three times the size of their existing college and will be at their Highlands Farm site. ACT were pleased to be able to donate £10K.