Three young children in green leaves outdoor learning spaceDonations

The Friends of Collett School

We create forest learning space for children with Special Educational Needs with Friends of Collett School

The Friends of Collett School approached the Axis Foundation to help convert an overgrown, unused forest area to a forest school area for children with Special Educational Needs. And we were delighted to make a donation of £540 to create learning packs for the project.

“This is such wonderful news! On behalf of everybody at The Friends of Collett School, thank you very much for your donation and support – it is really, really appreciated” – Rhea Dickman , Fundraising Lead, The Friends of Collett School

Our forest learning space for children with Special Educational Needs will include outside blackboards, a fit pit for cooking, sensory equipment, a mud kitchen and bug hotel, a trim trail, a living fedge and a den-making area. All these fun and educational work stations will help Collett’s children with Special Educational Needs engage with nature in a safe and supportive space. The children will learn transferable gardening skills, develop communication and cognitive skills and improve their self esteem and confidence.

The Collett School for Special Educational Needs in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire will also invite local community groups and special and mainstream schools to use the forest learning area. More about the school here

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Young child having swimming lessons with Level WaterDisability

Level Water

£1,250 helps Level Water teachers carry long-term benefits of swimming to children with disabilities

Level Water trains swimming teachers to deliver specialist swimming lessons for children with disabilities. And, once they have learnt to swim, children can move to mainstream swimming lessons where Level Water teachers will carry on supporting them.

Therefore children with disabilities can continue to swim without barriers for the rest of their lives. And so they gain the long term benefits of mobility, raised self-esteem and greater resilience that swimming brings them too.

Our donation of £1250 to Level Water will fund Teacher Training Workshops in Shoreham, Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill in Sussex; and in Tonbridge and Dover in Kent.

“It’s great to be working with the Axis Foundation in Sussex and Kent… you are helping us to provide thousands of one-to-one lessons for children who otherwise may never learn to swim. After a year with the swimming pools shut, the children we support are excited to improve their swimming and to learn new skills both in the pool and out” – Ian Thwaites, CEO, Level Water

More about Level Water

Level Water, based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, supports children with disabilities to access a lifetime of sport, to develop physical skills, become socially included and build self-esteem and resilience. Specifically, Level Water provides specialist one-to-one swimming lessons for children aged 4-11 with physical or sensory disabilities. A qualified Level Two teacher delivers each lesson socially distanced. More here

 

 

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Accessible platform with wheelchair users fishing BDAADisability

BDAA – 2nd donation

£3,450 to BDAA provides platform for disabled people to access joys of fishing

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 British Disabled Angling Association (BDAA) will help fund the creation and installation of an approved, bespoke, accessible group fishing platform in the Midlands.

“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

More about accessible platform for disabled people

An accessible fishing platform with stop-rails, hand rails and anti-slip strips allows disabled people safe access to the water and to the joys of fishing. Adapted fishing platforms have proved a huge hit with disabled anglers and fisheries. The group platforms, such as the one our donation will help fund, particularly benefit angling clubs, SEN schools or residential centres. In addition, an adapted platform has a long-lasting legacy and will benefit thousands of disabled people during its lifetime.

Benefits of angling and the BDAA

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 the British Disabled Angling Association (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.

Due to COVID-19, fishing became an even more popular activity leading to increased requests for BDAA support. So, in 2021, BDAA  is working with fisheries and angling venues to improve their disabled facilities making them more accessible, safer and practical so that more disabled adults and children can get involved and have enjoyable day out with a friend or family. There’s more about BDAA here.

The Axis Foundation has previously donated to BDAA’s Junior Schools Fishing Project. More here

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Girl standing in bedroomCare

Room for Justice

We create a safe, warm space for a friend in need – a Room for Justice!

Clare Payne, Resident Liaison Officer at Axis, wrote to the Axis Foundation to ask for help on behalf of her friend Justice.

 “Justice is the sole carer for her nan, grandad and her mother who is blind. She is the kindest person who never complains about anything. She always puts everyone else first and I have never known her to ask for anything.”

“Justice can only work part time as she needs to be on hand for simple tasks, such as placing toothpaste on the toothbrush, cooking dinner, or picking up dropped items from the floor. Justice will never be able to go on holiday without her mother, never has a day off and will likely not be able to afford to move into her own property due to financial restraints of working only part time. As she is currently being furloughed , money is even tighter than it ever has been.”

Clare asked if the Foundation could help improve Justice’s bedroom, to make it a place where her friend could relax, away from the stresses of her everyday life. And the Foundation was glad to help both Clare and Justice. For the threadbare neglected bedroom we purchased a brand-new bed, bedding, curtains, poles and carpet. And Axis’ own people, including our Apprentices, decorated Justice’s room and improved the lighting too.

“The transformation has been incredible. Justice is so grateful for the help and support of everyone. I am truly grateful to the Foundation for reminding Justice that good things happen to good people and that her hard work every single day does not go unnoticed.

“That was the message I was trying to give her, and we have certainly achieved that,” says Clare.

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young boy on dry ski slope TAG adaptive snow sportsDisability

TAG – 2nd donation

We help TAG provide adaptive snowsports for young people with disability

TAG Youth Club in west London aims to empower and optimise the potential of young people with disability. And TAG’s Adaptive Snowports programme offers disabled people the thrills and excitement of snowsports.

The Axis Foundation’s donation of £4789 will help TAG purchase a Mountain Man Sit Ski, a transfer sling and a vacuum cushion for postural support for wheelchair users.

‘Thank you so much to everyone at Axis and to those involved in the Axis Foundation for the kind gift. This has enabled us to purchase the bi ski and postural supports which means that no one will be excluded from taking part in this exciting sport. Skiing does more than just provide the benefits of being more active: it also supports people with their mental health and social skills and increases sensory stimulation”
– Giles Hobart, Lead Youth Worker, TAG

Case study: A TAG parent says

“My son doesn’t excel at sports and has struggled taking part in physical activities due to his disabilities. He loves the sensory feeling of speed and the wind on his face, so giving him the opportunity to sit ski will help change his outlook in life by providing him with a sport that captures his personality.”

Adaptive snowsports for young people with disability

The 2018 Paralympic Winter Games was officially the most successful in Paralympics GB’s history: snowsports athletes brought home an incredible seven medals. Following their inspiration, many more organisations seek to provide adaptive snowsports (skiing and snowboarding) for people with disability.

More about TAG

TAG, based in West London, provides young people with a safe, accessible, well-equipped environment and the opportunity to participate in personal and social development activities including arts, drama, music and sport. Fully-qualified adapted skiing and snowboarding instructors from Disability Snowsports UK deliver the snowsports lessons for TAG. Read more about TAG here.

The Axis Foundation previously donated £5,000 to TAG to fund an interactive sensory system at the Youth Club – more here.

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Gardening for people with disabilityDisability

FarmAbility

Transporting people with disabilities to beneficial farm-based tasks and outdoor activities

The Axis Foundation’s donation of £7,000 to FarmAbility will provide minibus, taxi or car transport for a year to ensure co-farmers (people with learning disabilities, many also with autism) can get to FarmAbility’s outreach partner farms, landed estates or gardens in a COVID-safe way.

Here co-farmers, many of whom are who are almost entirely excluded from workplaces and from employment, will engage in an outdoor, purposeful day sessions focusing on their needs and ability levels.

 “We know from our eight years’ experience that a regular weekly outdoor, active session involving practical, farm-based tasks has a lasting, positive impact on the mental and physical health of people with disabilities. So, a HUGE thank you to the Axis Foundation for the donation: it means a great amount to us – particularly during these challenging times. Working day-to-day with co-farmers and the team I know that being able to support the transport needs of co-farmers and staff will have a positive effect on our programme” – Jason Warner, Programme Manager, FarmAbility

More about FarmAbility

FarmAbility enables co-farmers (people with learning disabilities, many also with autism) to develop skills and competencies for purposeful living through participation in programmes on farms, estates and growing spaces. FarmAbility is based in Oxfordshire and runs programmes primarily from the Blenheim Estate in Woodstock and on a number of ‘outreach’ partner farms and growing spaces around the county. These include: FAI Farms (Wytham), Fair Close Community Farm (Wolvercote), FarmEd (Shipton-u-Wychwood) and Harcourt Arboretum.

FarmAbility’s programme is run by experienced, committed Programme Leaders who work with small groups of co-farmers with an approach that focuses more on ‘enabling’ than ‘supporting’ and which is informed by occupational therapy. They offer co-farmers a changing seasonal schedule of farm and gardening activities, guided by personal choice and individual needs, which includes activities such as vegetable gardening and orchard management, an organic egg enterprise, woodworking, basic animal husbandry, woodland work (coppicing, tree planting) and seasonal farm tasks.

More here 

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Fatory of Freedom Power ChairsDisability

Freedom Power Chairs

Donation to Freedom Power Chairs funds 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

 

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Adapted accessible toilet facilities for Danemead Scouts Camp SiteDisability

Danemead Scout Camp Site

Our adapted toilet facilities increase accessibility to natural beauty spot and educational facilities

Danemead Scout Camp Site encourages young people and the community to enjoy outdoor recreation, providing training in practical life skills as part of their educational programme here. The site welcomes schools, colleges, youth groups, local community organisations. Indeed, over 3000 people stayed on the site in 2019.

And, so that even more people can stay and enjoy this 34-acre ancient, coppiced woodland of unspoilt beauty in Hertfordshire, the Axis Foundation donated £3,000 to Danemead Scout Camp Site to help convert an existing external toilet into a purpose-design disabled toilet and washroom.

“We will always be grateful to Axis Foundation for supporting and helping the funding of the installation of the disabled toilet facility.

“The refurbishment of the toilet room to a disabled facility sits firmly in the social model of disability as it allows the inclusion into the site and facilities of wheelchair users and other disabled persons, by the provision of accessible toilet and washing facilities. We are excited about increasing the use of the camp site for further and additional community organisations”  – Mike Hayward, Camp Site Secretary

More about the refurbishment

The toilet required expanding to provide low level toilet and wash basin. Works also included removing the existing waste and water connection piping and diverting the system and subsequent re-connection and the installation of new fixings, safety rails, alarm system, tiling and new anti-slip floor. In addition, an external ramp was constructed and the existing steel door aperture was widened for wheelchair access.

More about Danemead Scout Camp Site

Danemead Scout Camp Site welcomes schools, colleges, youth groups, local community organisations and is run solely by volunteers. In addition, the Camp Site undertakes environmental conservation work involving the preservation of trees, landscapes, wildlife and their habitats.

There’s more about Danemead Scout Camp Site here

 

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Child in grey Hypo Hounds t-shirt and black dogCare

Hypo Hounds

Our helping hand to Hypo Hounds buys a specialist Diabetic Alert Assistance dog

“One sniff at a time” Hypo Hounds save the lives of children affected with Brittle Type 1 Diabetes every day. And our donation of £2,700 will purchase and feed a puppy and also cover its insurance.

“The wonderful donation by the Axis Foundation will enable us to purchase a puppy for a child, insure it and feed it for the first year of its life. Without this funding we would have had to temporarily disappoint a child that is in desperate clinical need. We are extremely grateful” – Mrs Jane Pearman FRSM, Chief Executive and Founder

CASE STUDY Ruby the Hypo Hound

“My daughter Chloe might not be here now if it wasn’t for Hypo Hound Ruby. During a recent sickness bug Ruby began to panic! She is usually such a calm dog, she would not stop alerting. We tried to control Chloe’s bloods as best we could at home, but we were not able to keep her fluid intake up. Ruby knew this and Chloe was at serious risk of falling into DKA. We listened to Hypo Hound Ruby, trusted that something wasn’t right and sought medical advice. Chloe was taken into hospital and placed onto a drip until her vomiting bug ended.

“Chloe and Ruby are the best of friends and are inseparable. Ruby is just amazing and we love her to bits” – Kathy (Chloe’s mum)

More about Hypo Hounds

Type 1 Diabetes effects 29,000 people in the UK. And 20% of those have this rare form, Brittle Type 1 Diabetes, for which there is no known cause and there is no cure. And every day, children with Brittle Type 1 Diabetes are at risk of collapsing, failing into a Diabetic coma and potentially dying in their sleep.

Because Hypo Hounds are trained to alert to parents/owners of the subtle changes in a child’s blood sugars they can help to prevent potentially life-threatening hypoglycaemic attacks, allowing parents to treat the child and mitigate the risk of hospital admissions.

Early detection of these changes in children with Brittle Type 1 Diabetes also means that the child’s long-term health is improved. Early detection reduces risk of renal failure, loss of sight and amputation.

Hypo Hounds’ amazing dogs are beating all the current technology by a precious 15 minutes, providing comfort, peace of mind and relief to parents and families.

There is more about Kent-based charity Hypo Hounds here.

 

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Little boy in goggles using assistive technology to communicateDisability

 Lifelites

Donation to Lifelites provides assistive technology for children with life-limiting illnesses

The Axis Foundation’s donation of £5,000 to Lifelites will buy assistive and inclusive for technologies to help children with life-limiting illnesses who attend Demelza Hospice Care for Children, the Axis Foundation’s charity partner.

“Lifelites is incredibly grateful for the support of the Axis Foundation. The Covid-19 pandemic has really highlighted life-limited and disabled children using hospice services as some of the most vulnerable and isolated in our society.

“With this donation from the Axis Foundation, Lifelites will be able to provide life-changing technology so children at Demelza  are able to communicate, play, engage with the world around them and control something for themselves” – CEO Simone Enefer-Doy

Case Study – JJ’s Story

Eyegaze is just one example of Lifelites’ assistive and inclusive technologies. Here’s a first-hand report of how it helped one little boy.

“Before JJ was diagnosed with ALD, he was an able young boy, attending a mainstream school. Once diagnosed he slowly lost the ability to walk and talk. The Eyegaze works really well for JJ as a form of play and interaction. He enjoys using all the apps within the Eyegaze, allowing him to create art, and make different patterns on the screen, just by moving his eyes. It is a great way to socially interact with him.

“JJ enjoys making drum beats on the Eyegaze. This is fantastic as he is able to do it on his own, encouraging his independence, when normally he needs assistance with everything. JJ used to love playing the drums before he became unwell.” – Charlotte, JJ’s care assistant

Our donation to Lifelites will help them procure, install and maintain assistive technology like Eyegaze at Demelza, helping life-limited children as well as their siblings, parents and other family members.

More about Lifelites

Lifelites consults, pilots, procures, installs and supports and maintains bespoke packages of assistive technologies for every children’s hospice service in the British Isles.

They train care staff in its use and application on an on-going basis to ensure the equipment is in constant use for the children for whom every second counts. Lifelites has 60 projects across the British Isles.

Using the power of assistive and inclusive technology Lifelites aims to give every life-limited and disabled child using hospice services the opportunity to play, to communicate effectively, to take part in creative activities and to choose and control things for themselves.

Assistive technology enables life-limited children to communicate and interact with their well siblings as other children, to engage meaningfully with parents and carers and to remain engaged with their world for as long as possible.

There’s more about Lifelites here

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