Somerset Masons donate £54,000 to Designability

Somerset Masons have given a grant of £54,000 to Designability, and on 19th June 2023, representatives of Somerset Freemasons visited their workshops in Bath, to discover the fantastic work they are doing.

Designability provides free powered wheelchairs (aka Wizzybugs) nationwide, for children aged from 14 months to 5 years, whose mobility is affected by conditions such as cerebral palsy, spinal muscular atrophy and muscular dystrophy. They are given a loan of a Wizzybug for as long as they need, which provides them with mobility and independence indoors and outside.

In the handover, the Wizzybug is tailored to the user, adjusting the seat, positioning the joystick control to suit their grip, and tweaking its sensitivity.

It costs £6,000 for the full lifecycle of the loan, including handover, delivery and maintenance. Thanks to the Somerset Masons’ grant, 9 children will be receiving a Wizzybug.

There is typically no NHS funding for powered wheelchairs for children under five years, and so Designability is filling a real gap in the market, and the help provided by the Masonic grant gives much needed boost to that provision. 

When a child using the Wizzybug becomes old enough to qualify for NHS funding, Designability guides them through the intricate process of obtaining NHS funding and assistance.

Genevieve Arney, Director of Fundraising and Communications from Designability said: “We are very grateful to Somerset Freemasons for their generous grant. Getting a Wizzybug is great for the children concerned but also has fantastic benefits for the whole family who can engage and interact in a way they couldn’t before.”

Graham Puddy, Provincial Charity Steward for Somerset Masons said: “I am very pleased we have been able to help Designability provide their wonderful Wizzybugs to children who need them. By making them mobile, these wonderful machines transform the lives of the children and their families and they are also great fun, as any child who has used one will testify”

However, Designability’s activities are not restricted to aiding early years child mobility. They are working in partnership with Motability to make public electric vehicle charging points more accessible for people with a range of different needs.

So Designability is contributing to the lives of people from early life through to adulthood who need help with their mobility and it is a charity well worth supporting.

L-R Vincent Baughan (Communications Officer, Royal Cumberland Lodge No 41 – Bath) Adrian Robson (Provincial Almoner) Anna-Kate Taylor (Designability – Fundraising and Support Experience Executive) Graham Puddy (Provincial Charity Steward) Steve Collins (Assistant Provincial Charity Steward) Photographs by Les Pickersgill, the Provincial Photographer.

For more information:

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