What is the group?
Handicapped Children’s Action Group is a registered charity working to provide specialist equipment for children with disabilities, learning difficulties and other special needs. The children, from all areas of the UK are unable to obtain this equipment from the NHS and because of the cost it is usually unaffordable by the families.
Handicapped Children’s Action Group was first established in 1988 as a result of a previous chairman trustee’s involvement with fundraising for a child close to his heart. It was made clear during this fundraising just how difficult it was to obtain desperately needed equipment for seriously ill children and especially so, if the child was from a family with very little income. As a result of that insight into the difficulties, a number of people involved in that fundraising event formed a group which went on to raise funds for disabled children from low income families. The Handicapped Children’s Action Group registered as a charity in 1992.
What is the ‘Action’ Group’s purpose?
The purpose of Handicapped Children’s Action Group is to be there to provide the funding for all types of specialist equipment that will help to give the disabled child independence and mobility. We also hope we are able to give a lot of our children the ability to join in with the activities of children their own age. Many of our children have only been able to ‘watch from the sidelines’. We are able, with your help, to provide the equipment that enables them to have as normal a life as possible. The lives that most able bodied people take for granted.
Who can obtain help from the group?
Any representative of a child who has a disability can apply to us for necessary equipment. However, we are only able to give assistance to children up to the age of 16 years and the family financial circumstances must be such that they are unable to afford to purchase the equipment themselves. A financial sheet is enclosed with our application form but because of the volume of applications we receive each year, unfortunately the income of the family is usually a major factor when deciding who we are able to help. However, because the trustees appreciate just how expensive raising a disabled child can be it is not only families on benefits that receive our help.
All income and expenditure is taken into account whether from a working family or a family in receipt of benefits. In our experience it is very often the working families that need assistance more than a family receiving benefits. Many of these families are borderline cases earning just that little bit too much to receive the benefits so many of them need.
How are funds raised?
Funds are raised through appeal letters sent to companies although larger trusts and foundations are also approached.
How do we decide whom to approach?
We contact companies local to a specific child on our waiting list, inviting that company to either make a donation or completely fund an item of equipment. Our work relies on the generosity of these companies, trusts, foundations and the general public.
What equipment do we provide?
The equipment we provide is varied and includes powered and manual wheelchairs, electric beds, trikes, standing and walking frames, buggies both powered and manual, car seats, lycra body suits and splints, specialist seating and sensory and stimulation equipment. The trustees always consider any equipment recommended for the disabled child.
How much does the equipment cost?
The cost of the equipment varies greatly, ranging from as little as a few pounds to approximately £8000 depending on the type of equipment needed, the child’s age and disability.
Who knows about us?
Because we are such a small group we are not prepared to advertise ourselves nationally. Firstly we believe our funds are better used in providing equipment and not advertising ourselves nation-wide. Secondly we would not be able to cope with the amount of applications we would receive. At present, we receive 800+ applications each year of which we are only able to help a small percentage. We are approached by special needs schools, physiotherapists, hospitals, child development centres, portage centres and families themselves; with details of our group being passed by word of mouth.
To sum up!
As a small group we are extremely proud of the number of children we have been able to help over the past years. Although having to make difficult decisions on who we are able to help and who we cannot, we hope we give the families who approach us a friendly, knowledgeable, rapid and courteous service.
If you would like our assistance then please download and complete our application form.
Please post or e-mail to us on completion.