The Foundation has supported Together Trust since 2012 with grants totalling over £14,500 helping to fund new equipment, refurbishment, services and activities for disadvantaged young people in North West England. Most recently, we supported the purchase of a fully accessible minivan for its Newbridge day centre.
Together Trust’s Newbridge Centre is a day service in Stockport for 70 young people with autism, complex health needs, challenging behaviours and profound learning disabilities. While our centre offers fantastic facilities within its limited building, our young people – like anyone their age – crave being out and about.
For some of our young people, the sad truth is if they didn’t come to Newbridge, they simply would not go out. Our programme at Newbridge includes singing, gardening, cooking, crafts, and a sensory room but nothing excites our young people than being outside!
Our incredible young people at Newbridge were desperate for a minibus, to enable them to get out and about, take part in a greater variety of activities, and engage in outdoor activities as a group of peers. Our young people have shown their enthusiasm for the project by raising funds through a sponsored walk where the staff, young people and families at the centre raised an impressive £1,935. In addition to this, a staff member has completed a challenge event called ‘Total Warrior’, raising a further £900 towards the minibus fund.
Thanks to the grant from DM Thomas Foundation for Young People we are able to purchase a nearly new 12 seat adapted minibus and our young people are ABLE to go out as a group rather than a small handful at a time. Following consultation with our young people they would like to do the following with their friends: swimming, bowling, trips to the airport to watch planes, hiking, going to parks and shopping, with IKEA and garden centres being top of the list.
As a result of the minivan and outings, our 70 young people with very complex needs are more content, better ABLE to manage their behaviours, and more fully ABLE to participate in wider society. They will be ABLE to do activities they enjoy and have asked to do more of them regularly as well as the chance to go to places in a social group just like other young people. This would also help people with disabilities to be more visible in the community, which benefits the public by helping to grow understanding and appreciation of people who face challenges different from our own.