My name is Dr Lin Berwick MBE. I am totally blind, have Cerebral Palsy Quadriplegia, I have partial hearing loss, and I am a permanent wheelchair user.
I have fallen on hard times since my husband passed away and I have had to fund a regular sum on social services for care costs. I also have to find £546.48 per month to give to social services which leaves me just £50 a week to live on. I have now found this impossible due to the fact that I need a new vehicle and a more suitable wheelchair. Although the Motability scheme is wonderful, I am still not in a financial position to find the £4915 required as my put-down contribution for the vehicle. It is imperative that I get this as soon as possible as I am now totally off the road unless I pay more than £400 a week to hire a specialist wheelchair-accessible vehicle.
I still work even though I am 68 years of age - lecturing, writing, and giving general assistance to people with disabilities. I need a comfortable chair to help me do this as I am in excruciating pain most of the time. I am still trying to have a life. My greatest love is to go to classical music concerts, London and elsewhere - thank God for concessionary tickets! Music is my colour in sound and it helps my pain levels to ease and gives me a purpose for living. My carers and friends help me to carry this love forward.
The new wheelchair is bio-mathematically designed to cope with my twisted spine and it will be an absolute Godsend when the final small things have been put right to my satisfaction. I am deeply grateful to Greencare Wheelchairs for the way in which they have persisted in trying to make me more comfortable.
The money raised will go to meet the down payment of the Motability Vehicle, and the rest will fund the wheelchair and give me a little surplus towards fuel because now that my Motability Component of my Personal Independence Plan is taken, I will find it difficult to meet the fuel costs.
I need your help because I simply cannot cope any longer with having to meet bills that I cannot manage. I have striven so hard but these two massive expenses are beyond me and I humbly request your help. I have always been a very proud person and have never wanted to let people know just how hard my life is now since my husband died but I'm having to admit defeat and call upon other people's help.
Please consider my request which is urgently required and may I thank you in anticipation of your kindness.
I have been incredibly grateful to all those people who have made a contribution to this appeal. I have decided to extend the time limit until the 16th January to give people a little more time should they feel inclined to assist as part of their Christmas giving. Anything that you can do to publicize my plight further would be incredibly welcome.