Ever wondered how a ‘tough’ bed can make a real difference to a family? We recently provided funding for a 20-year-old from York who has ADHD and Autism Spectrum Condition for a much-needed ‘unbreakable’ bed after she broke her last three beds due to her condition.
Ruby, who has severe learning disabilities and behavioural issues, rocks backwards and forwards and will bounce on her bed due to her sensory needs. This has meant that she broken her last three beds due to the bedframe joints crumbling from the continued pressure they were put under.
We spoke to Ruby’s mum Lena who told us: “Ruby would rock the bedframe and shake the whole bed constantly. She’s bang her feet against the bed as well which would make a huge amount of noise and mean that it would take her quite a while to settle down at night. Occasionally there were nights when she wouldn’t go to sleep till the early hours of the morning. This would mean that not only would the whole family’s sleep be disrupted, but also that Ruby would not get the sleep she needed which could mean her behaviour would be even more challenging the next day.
“Sometimes if she broke the bed in the night she would even have to sleep on a mattress on her floor which – although she found it a novelty – we knew wasn’t good for her as she has mild scoliosis so we had to find a more permanent solution quickly.”
At a respite care home that Ruby visits once a week, the carers showed Lena the specially adapted tough bed that Ruby sleeps on which, as it has no parts or bolts, is effectively unbreakable. Lena knew this would be a perfect solution, but the cost would have been too much for the family to bear. She continues:
“These beds cost over £800 each as they are all made bespoke to order and, as I have had to give up work to look after Ruby’s needs, we just couldn’t afford to buy one despite knowing it would significantly help benefit her wellbeing.”
Lena had previously donated to our charity – and realised that we may be able to offer a solution. She adds: “I’d donated to Children Today before but I’d never really thought about whether they could actually help support us. I made an application and when we found out we’d been awarded the funding we needed I just couldn’t believe it!”
The tough bed from Tough Furniture Ltd was delivered last year and it has already had a huge impact not only on Ruby but also the whole family.
“This bed means we now have so much more peace of mind that Ruby can’t hurt herself if she tries to break it as there is nothing on it that can fall apart”, Lena adds. “Ruby settles down so much quicker at night now and is getting a lot more rest which is having a positive knock-on effect on the rest of her life.
“She’s now going to a specialist college for young people with disabilities where she’s building skills that will help her live more independently. She’s got more opportunities for social interaction as well which means her self-confidence is coming on leaps and bounds and she’s really blossoming.
“Without this funding we would never have been able to have paid for the bed ourselves. The support we received from Children Today has really changed – not just Ruby’s – but all our lives for the better.”
Ruby’s story was featured in the York Press on 8th February 2018.
Ruby’s mum and our Chief Executive will be interviewed on the Breakfast show of BBC Radio York on 9th February 2018.
An eleven-year-old boy, who was a keen cyclist before he suffered a severe brain haemorrhage over three years ago, is now able to ride a bike for the first time since his injury after we provided funding for a specially adapted trike!
Jimmy Stevens, who lives in Exeter, suffered a spontaneous bleed to the brain after a family day out. Despite his family being told there was little chance of survival, Jimmy pulled through but as a result suffered devastating injuries. Severe hemiplegia on his right side meant he was unable to speak, walk, swallow or even support his own head.
After intensive rehabilitation over the past couple of years, including numerous operations, physiotherapy and speech therapy, Jimmy can now walk short distances but still has no use of his right hand and arm so riding a bike ever again looked very unlikely.
Mum Jenni comments: “Since his injury we kept asking Jimmy what he wanted to be able to achieve and he consistently said he would like to learn to ride a bike again. We heard of a charity through the Child Brain Injury Trust that adjusts recumbent trikes to suit different disabilities and they adjusted a trike for Jimmy to try out. I can honestly say that this was the first time I’d seen Jimmy truly happy in a very long time but adapted trikes like that cost thousands of pounds which we couldn’t afford as I’ve had to give up work to care for Jimmy.”
Adaptations on this special trike made by Freetrike Rehab Cycling mean that Jimmy can control the brakes and the steering all with his left hand so he can ride independently, as well as an adjustable head rest to help him sit on it safely and securely.
After Jenni saw Jimmy’s reaction she knew that this trike would be life-changing for him so set about trying to raise the funds needed. Friends and family rallied together raising just under £1000, Jenni then reached out to our charity to see if we could provide a grant for £1000 which, combined with the contributions from friends and family, would cover the cost of the trike. Jenni adds:
“When Children Today told us that they would award Jimmy the funding we needed for the trike we just couldn’t believe it! Jimmy was the first child in the UK to get the KMX Koyote folding trike and it really has made a huge difference to him and our whole family.
“Jimmy isn’t able to cycle from home as he gets tired but as this trike folds up we can put it in the car, drive out somewhere and all go for a bike ride together. Cycling was a big part of our family before his accident, Jimmy’s dad and grandfather are both avid cyclists – in fact we used to say cycling is in the genes! This trike means Jimmy can now go on bike rides with his dad and sisters once again.
“The trike has also had much more of an impact than just making exercise more accessible for him (as he walks with a splint) and helping improve his strength and stamina. Sadly, his self-confidence plummeted after his injury. He was always shy but as his speech started to come back, he found it difficult to communicate. As his trike is so unusual it’s really helping his social interaction as people keep coming up to it to have a look and talk to him about it. He’s a lot better at communicating now and his confidence is growing every week.
“Jimmy has gone through so much in his young life already so we are very grateful that thanks to Children Today he’s been able to cycle once again with this special trike which we thought he would never be able to do again.”
We are incredibly proud to be able to change the lives of children like Jimmy – but as we receive no government or NHS funding we are reliant on voluntary donations to keep providing these grants. To donate now click here.
If you know a child or young person that could use our support – find out more about our application process here.
Jimmy’s story was featured on BBC Spotlight on the 2nd February 2018 – you can watch the programme below, with thanks to BBC Spotlight for the footage.
Do you dare to take part in an action-packed team-building weekend on the 8th-10th June 2018 with friends, colleagues and some football legends whilst raising funds for children and young people with disabilities?!
Then join our….PFA Challenge Cup Weekend event
Location: Anderton Centre, Lancashire PR6 9HJ
Date/time: 8-10 June 2018 (arrival after 2pm 8th June, departure early evening 10th June)
With previous PFA captains including David Oldfield, John McGinlay and Don Goodman this is sure to be a weekend to remember!
This activity weekend will include evening activities as well as daytime activities including: time to socialise with other participants and the ex-footballers on the Friday night; a BBQ and a Q and A session with the famous team captains on the Saturday night; and a Celebration Dinner where the Challenge Cup winners will be announced before your departure in the early evening on the Sunday.
Accommodation in shared, en-suite rooms & all meals are included in the below participation costs.
Registration fee per person: £50 (non-refundable)
Minimum sponsorship required: £300 per person
To book your place or for more information call us on 01244 335622. Registering your place asap is recommended as places are limited. If you would like posters to put up in your workplace please let us know.
Thank you to our sponsors the Professional Footballer’s Association. For more information about the PFA please click here.
*Please note these are example activities, a full itinerary will be given out after registration but this may be subject to change. For full ts and cs please call us.
Chester restaurant Las Iguanas has partnered with the toy shop The Entertainer to donate a £600 voucher for the well-known toy shop to our charity, as part of their ‘Christmas Present Fund’.
Las Iguanas restaurants across the UK all pick a chosen, local charity to support with their festive campaign which sees the restaurant group donate £5 for each large party booking of over 10 people that order from the Christmas menu over the festive season. The Entertainer also matches the donation to double the amount donated to the charity.
This is the first year that we have been lucky enough to be selected by the Latin American Restaurant and Bar on Pepper Street as their chosen, local charity and our office in Chester was recently visited by General Manager of the restaurant Matt Ballard who presented the voucher to some of the charity’s employees.
Grants Liaison Officer Laura Oldfield comments: “We are delighted to have been chosen this year by Las Iguanas to receive the ‘Christmas Present Fund’ voucher for The Entertainer and know this donation will help support the work we do to change the lives of children and young people with disabilities.”
General Manager Matt Ballard comments: “The charity Children Today really does make a difference to so many people’s lives so when we were looking for a local charity they were a natural choice for us and we’re pleased that we’ve been able to support the great work they do through the provision of this voucher.”
The Las Iguanas Community ‘Christmas Present Fund’ with the support of The Entertainer has delivered over £100,000 of toys to children’s charities across the UK since its inception.
Thank you to the teams at Las Iguanas and The Entertainer for supporting us!
On behalf of the TTA, company secretary Kay Porter recently presented a cheque for over £2,600 to Ben Partridge, CEO of Children Today. This is the TTA’s nominated charity, for which the Association has now raised nearly £74,000 since it started its support. Most of this year’s money was raised at a special charity “bingo” which was held at the start of the 2017 TTA Awards back in May.
Children Today provides funds for specialised equipment which can totally change the lives of disabled children and young people. The charity helps many disabled children and young people up to the age of 25 enjoy a better quality of life by providing them with the specialised equipment they need to live their lives to the full potential.
Our charity relies entirely on voluntary donations so the money raised by the TTA Awards will help us give this vital equipment to many more children making an enormous difference, really changing children’s lives and that of their families.
Ben Partridge, CEO of Children Today comments: “To have the support of an organisation like the TTA since 2010 and its members has been amazing. This continued support has helped change the lives of many children and their families, directly helping to give them more independence and the ability to take part in activities that they would never have been able to without this equipment.”
We’re delighted to announce that our second Ladies Lunch event in Chester has raised a fantastic £5500!
Over 110 guests attended our special event at the Chester Grosvenor with proceeds going towards our work to provide funds for specialised equipment for children and young people up to the age of 25 years old with disabilities.
Attendees enjoyed a glass of prosecco whilst browsing stalls in a pop-up boutique shopping area before sitting down to a sumptuous lunch and fashion show featuring the latest designs from Hobbs, LK Bennett, Chameleon Style & Chester University’s Design Department modelled by amazing models provided once again by Majestic Models. Rituals also provided hand and arm massages to guests.
A raffle also saw guests get the chance to win a number of impressive prizes including a personal styling session and £200 gift voucher from Hobbs, a LK Bennett purse and afternoon tea for two at the Chester Grosvenor.
As our charity receives no funding from the government or NHS, we are reliant on voluntary donations to keep providing these all-important grants for children across the UK.
Regional Fundraising Manager Paula Hanford comments: “We are delighted with the amazing response to our second Ladies Lunch event. It was a very special occasion and the money raised will directly impact the lives of the children we support across the UK.
“This event was only possible thanks to the support of our sponsors, McLintocks and Think Cirrus, and we would also like to thank all the guests for their generosity in helping us raise these much-needed funds.”
Thank you to our amazing supporters including Simply Argan, L’Occitane, Rituals, Vixi, Crabtree & Evelyn, Penhaligons, Boodles, Elemis, Riverford Organics, the Chester Grosvenor and Chameleon Style that provided prizes for our raffle.
Our 2017 Ladies Lunch event at Bolton Whites hotel went with a bang on the 2nd November – raising a fantastic £9000 for our charity! On arrival guests were treated to a glass of bubbly, thanks to Capstone Wealth Management.
A delicious lunch was accompanied by models showing off some stunning fashions whilst diners were also treated to some retail therapy with an array of shops at the pop-up boutique area.
Guest speaker – the award-winning artist Susan Gunn – gave guests a ‘Picture of her life’ talking about how her life moved from being a former beauty queen to an international artist.
A fantastic raffle saw some lucky guests walk away with a number of prizes – including a Ted Baker leather bag.
Thank you to all who attended and supported our charity. Please see below a gallery of pictures from the event, courtesy of Ania Pankiewicz photography.
We are in with a chance of securing significant funding of up to £25,000, but need your votes to help make it happen!
We have been nominated to receive a grant from the Aviva Community Fund by Chester-based Risk Services (NW) Ltd for our ‘Going Places’ project which aims to help change the lives of young people with disabilities by making education more accessible through the provision of specialised equipment.
This funding will mean we can provide a minimum of 20 grants over the course of the year to increase access to more inclusive education for more children and young people with the added benefit of more social inclusion. Children Today chief executive Ben Partridge comments:
“Mobility is essential to the development of capacity and independence and young people with disabilities need mobility to access training, further education and employment. We receive many applications from young people who cannot access further education or jobs because their wheelchairs are beyond repair and they don’t have the same eligibility for financial support when they reach 18 year old. We also hear from the parents of children who are unable to get around their schools or can’t get their wheelchairs under a desk.
“We believe education should be accessible to all and if we were awarded an Aviva Community Foundation grant it would enable us to fund more children and young people to meet their full potential, helping them to ‘go places’.”
Steve Lowe, Managing Director of Risk Services, said: “We are very excited to back such an exciting campaign as Children Today’s ‘Going Places’ project. There is strong competition from good causes across the UK for these grants and every application is subjected to rigorous scrutiny so we urge residents and businesses from across the region to show their support by just taking a minute to vote.”
Anyone who lives in the UK and registers on the Aviva Community Fund website can submit ten votes until November 21.
It just takes a minute to vote but could make all the difference to our application – just click here Thank you!
Thanks to your support, our Meet the Superheroes event at Cheshire Ice Cream Farm raised a fantastic £1800!
Captain America, Batman and more entertained the children at the event – Batman was even dunked with twelve buckets of water to help us raise as much money as possible. Thank you to everyone that attended and supported our event.
You can view some of the pictures here! With thanks to Howard Dutton Photography.
Children Today Charitable Trust
17B Telford Court
Chestergates Business Park
Tel: 01244 335622
Registered Charity No. 1137436