The grand total of £20,000 was given to Bobath Scotland Cerebral Palsy Therapy Centre following last year’s lunch.
We asked them to explain for us what the money is being used for.
Based in Glasgow, the centre provides specialist support and therapy for children and adults from all over Scotland living with cerebral palsy. Last year they supported over 100 children and their families, 22 adults and trained healthcare and education professionals from across Scotland.
The centre provided intensive blocks of multi-disciplinary therapy with physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists working together with the whole family and team around the child to achieve real, functional improvements to improve quality of life. To keep their services going they tell us that they need to raise over 80% of their annual income from private sources.
CEO Stephanie Fraser said: “We are a small charity and every penny counts. We were delighted to accept over £20,000 from the proceeds of the 57th Annual Lunch and wish to extend our profound thanks to all at the Women of Scotland Lunch.
“The funds went directly towards Bobath Scotland’s 18th Birthday Fund which was launched to provide support to the people from all over Scotland who need our help the most, but whose ability to access our services is hampered by lack of funding.”
One of these children was 11 year old Erin.
Erin first came to Bobath when she was 4 years-old, but as she grows older she and her family are facing different challenges and it becomes increasingly difficult to find help.
Stephanie continued: “Erin has the type of cerebral palsy that affects all her limbs. Her vision is also affected, which means she has difficulty communicating and also perceiving what is around her. She uses a wheelchair and has had surgery on both her hips. However as moving is difficult for her and as she grows she becomes far stiffer. This is a problem for her family and those who care for her as they face practical problems when helping Erin to get dressed or to get in and out of the car or the chair. Her family were desperate to come to Bobath and the funding from the 18th Birthday fund enabled Bobath to offer them a block of intensive therapy in December 2014.
“Erin saw a combined Bobath team of a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist and a speech and language therapist. The team dealt with looking at long-term postural issues and how to help Erin strengthen her body in the right way. Because Erin relies on her chair, enabling her to move in a 3-dimensional way, for example, whilst she is getting dressed was really important to helping her get stronger. It is also helpful to her family to know how to help her and Mum found some of the massage techniques useful for this.
“At the same time the team worked on communication and how to enable Erin to make choices and use equipment so that she can communicate what she wants. Part of the challenge for Erin is for her to be able to hold her head up so that she can make choices. During the block the family reported a significant increase in Erin’s ability to communicate her choices. Whilst she was in the centre, Erin also tried the AKKA platform, which once her wheelchair is on the platform, she is able to move about the centre by pushing a button to make it go. It is a pre-cursor to possibly looking at a motorised chair in the future and often it is the first time a child has been able to move by themselves, without someone pushing or carrying them. Erin loved the AKKA platform – especially when she “drove” it over bubble wrap and it made a wonderful noise – although she may have wished to go a bit faster!
“By the end of Erin’s block, she was moving better, was less stiff and was communicating her wishes when offered clear choices. Her family were supported in how they looked after her and simple everyday tasks like dressing and getting in and out of the car were made easier.”
Erin’s Mum says of coming to Bobath “The support we receive from the team at Bobath helps make our lives so much easier. They give us the expertise to care for our child and Erin’s so much happier. Bobath helps our family life, not just Erin’s condition”.
Last year Bobath Scotland provided help to 13 children and families, like Erin’s, from all over Scotland who had no other funding for their treatment at all through the 18th Birthday Fund. This how the proceeds from last year’s luncheon were spent and this is how your generosity changed the lives of these children and their families.
Stephanie Fraser concluded: “On behalf of Erin, her family and everyone else you have supported at Bobath Scotland, thank you all for being so generous.”