The Chris Westwood Charity for Children with Physical Disabilities:
What do we do?
We respond to requests for help to fund the purchase of mobility/sensory/vision equipment for disabled children/young people up to the age of 25 years within a 50 mile radius of Stourbridge when there is no other funding available. We typically complete 90 to 100 cases in a year, totalling between £100,000 and £130,000.
We do this with zero administration cost so that every penny donated helps the children, the Trustees covering any incidental expenses.
We raise the funding each year from regular donors, gifts, events, collections, many groups collecting for us, help from charitable foundations, commision and recycling payments,in short by any method we can. With more funding we could do more as our area covers a vast number of children needing help.
Where do we Help?
Within the Dudley area, which is our Local Authority, we are advised that there are more than 750 children classified as Special Needs, if we consider the area we actually cover (50 mile radius from Stourbridge in the West Midlands), the vast extent of what is often an unseen problem, can perhaps be better appreciated.
What do we Fund?
Typically we fund special exercise trikes, special car seats, all types of special support and comfortable seating, walkers, standing frames, hoists, beds, sleepers, sensory equipment and computer equipment for visually impaired children to enable them to reach their potential. There is always much more to do, any any extra funding would allow us to do so much more.
Why are we Needed?
The NHS has a limited budget and is often unable to supply the equipment urgently needed by a child Many cases have degenerative or life limiting conditions, and prompt provision of equipment can help to delay or stop loss of mobility, and in some cases help a child to start walking. We can also provide relief to those with severe life limiting conditions. We consider that each case is a project in itself, and with greater funding we could do so much more.
We can delay loss of mobility from some degenerative conditions and help some children to regain some mobility, even to the point of beng able to walk independently.
The equipment often helps general health through exercise, improves strength and coordination, and gets children both outside and able to interact more with their peers.
We have grown from nothing in 16 years without spending anything on advertising, but just by being found. Due to limits on what we can raise, we do try to deliberately keep a low profile, but we still find that demand grows. Extra funding is critical to us as there is so much help that is needed for families who often have to act as full time carers.