Nine-year-old Meghan has a rare condition called cardiofaciocutaneous syndrome and regularly suffers from seizures.

The condition causes vision impairment, uncontrolled epilepsy and a list of other issues relating to digestion.

Although she can’t communicate in any way she can understand gestures.

Meghan attends Springfield Special Needs School in Crewe but because of Covid-19 she and her family have been shielding at their home in Nantwich, Cheshire, since March 2020.

Although the youngster can sit independently and crawl she needs full support from specialist equipment. Meghan is a wheelchair user and has a standing frame and a correctional device to stretch her knees.

Meghan had been given a pacer walking frame by the NHS but had outgrown it and there wasn’t a budget for a new specialist £3,000 Jiraffe walking pacer.

When the youngster used the Jiraffe pacer and adjustable saddle seat for a trial period it allowed her to move more independently, which she’d been unable to do during lockdown.

Meghan’s parents Amanda and Michael Kewley applied to the Steve Morgan Foundation and were awarded an Enable Grant so they could get their daughter her very own Jiraffe walker.

Proud dad Michael said it was emotional experience seeing his daughter take her first steps with the walker.

He said: “Neighbours have been coming up to us and saying how smiley and happy Meghan is. Seeing Meghan make other people happy makes us happy.

“Having been confined to the house because of Covid-19 it’s so lovely to see her out and about.

“We can’t thank the Steve Morgan Foundation enough. They have given Meghan the gift of walking.”

Delighted mum Amanda said: “Because she can’t speak, routine is very important to Meghan. If I got her leg supports and coat out she would know she’s going on her walker and she gets so excited.

“When the lockdown is over a couple of local children have invited her to go to the park at the bottom of the road and we will be with her of course. It’s something that Meghan has never done. She has become so nosey! She watches everything that is going on. Even the regular delivery drivers and postman acknowledge her and wave to her.

“We could never have afforded the £3,000 ourselves but it’s priceless to Meghan. We’re so grateful to the Steve Morgan Foundation. Words can’t sum up how we feel.”

Steve Morgan said: “When we set up the Steve Morgan Foundation in 2001 it was to change the lives of people like Meghan. Last year we gave away £27m to support charities impacted by Covid but we know the £3,000 grant awarded to Meghan has changed her life too. It’s very humbling to know.”

Jane

By Jane

Published: March 2021

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Philanthropist Steve Morgan has pledged that the charitable Foundation that bears his name will continue changing lives for ‘centuries to come’.

The founder of Redrow was talking on the 20th anniversary of the Steve Morgan Foundation and said he was more determined than ever to keep helping improve the lives of vulnerable people in Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales.

In 2020 the Steve Morgan Foundation handed out a record-breaking £27m to hundreds of charities struggling with the impact of Covid-19, helping more than 2.2 million people in the process.

Mr Morgan said: “I’m incredibly proud that we’ve reached our 20th anniversary. The Steve Morgan Foundation is about the millions of people we’ve been helping for two decades and will continue to help for centuries to come.

“2020 was the biggest year in our history because of Covid-19 and I’d like to think it was a case of ‘cometh the hour, cometh the Foundation’.”

In total the Foundation distributed a record-breaking £27m  – including £10m from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport as part of the Community Match Challenge Fund – but Mr Morgan said it was the pace at which the money was distributed that was so crucial.

“We allocated £20m to more than 125 charities in just 59 days,” he said. “I don’t think any other Foundation came close to giving away that amount of money so rapidly. It made a massive difference to some of the most vulnerable people in society when they needed help the most.”

It was back in 2001 that Mr Morgan set up the Steve Morgan Foundation soon after leaving Redrow for the first time.

He recalled: “Before leaving Redrow I gave my last three years’ salary to the Alder Hey Hospital where they were raising funds for a children’s oncology unit.”

In 1998 he helped raise a further £365,000 for the appeal by leading a trek across the Pyrenees, attempting to be included in the Guinness Book of Records. One of the patients in the existing oncology ward was a four-year-old cancer patient called George who ended up changing the direction of his life.

“On the day we were setting off for the Pyrenees a group of children came to Liverpool Airport to wave us off,” he explained. “The ward sister pulled me to one side and said, ‘I’m not sure that George is going to be with us by the time you get back’. On the second day of the walk it was driving a blizzard. It was freezing cold and it was thinking of George that took us through that day.”

George tragically died but was partly the inspiration behind the entrepreneur founding the Steve Morgan Foundation in 2001. The Foundation supports charities that help people with physical or learning disabilities, the elderly, and the socially disadvantaged in Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales.

Five years later Mr Morgan was watching the 2006 FA Cup final between Liverpool and West Ham United at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff when he had a tap on the shoulder.

“I turned around and it was George’s dad,” recalled Mr Morgan. “He said he was so proud of everything we’d done for George. That meant so much.”

Since 2001 the philanthropist has gifted over £300m to the Steve Morgan Foundation to secure its long-term future.

As well as helping thousands of charities the Foundation is the largest donor in history of the type 1 diabetes charity JDRF, having donated £7m.

The Steve Morgan Foundation has also built a new Maggie’s Centre in Clatterbridge Merseyside and will build a second Maggie’s Centre at the Royal Liverpool Hospital at a cost of more than £5m.

“We’ve also funded over 90 minibuses which has enabled thousands of vulnerable people to get out and about,” he said.

“Sometimes you look back and think how quickly the last 20 years have gone but the Foundation is well placed and well funded to help those that need it for centuries to come.”

 

A charity dedicated to eradicating type 1 diabetes has said the support of the Steve Morgan Foundation is changing lives.

The Foundation is the biggest donor in the history of JDRF having given £7m, including £3m in Community Match Challenge funding.

As well as funding life-changing research it’s helped the charity deal with a £2m shortfall in its fundraising caused by Covid-19.

The Steve Morgan Foundation’s association with JDRF began after Sally Morgan’s son Hugo was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was seven.

JDRF’s spokesperson Allan Sutherland said: “Finding a cure for type 1 diabetes is just a matter of time and the Foundation’s continued investment in our research is bringing us one step closer to this, enabling us to accelerate vital clinical trials and boost our research portfolio.

“In addition to funding our life-changing type 1 research, we have been fortunate to receive a significant grant through the Community Match Challenge Fund, in collaboration with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

“It has been a lifeline at a time of great uncertainty for the future of the organisation, our research and community engagement work.

“It is allowing JDRF to recover from the financial impact of the pandemic, protecting the organisation and our staff in the short to medium term.

“It is also providing a unique opportunity for us to rise through the unprecedented challenges we face during the pandemic – it enables us to adapt and grow so we can respond to the changing needs of people with type 1 diabetes.”

JDRF was founded in the US in 1970 and opened in the UK in 1986.

Type 1 diabetes is where your immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing beta cells. When the body isn’t able to produce its own insulin, the level of glucose in your body becomes too high and requires regular doses of insulin to be injected.

Currently, scientists think that type 1 diabetes is caused by a combination of your genes and other, non-genetic factors.

Even in identical twins, who share the same DNA, one twin may develop type 1 and the other may not.

Type 1 diabetes can affect anyone, at any age, and it is not caused by poor diet or an unhealthy lifestyle.

Around 90 per cent of people with type 1 diabetes have no family history of the condition.

Allan Sutherland said a significant amount of the £7m received from the Steve Morgan Foundation had been spent on vital research.

£4m of the funding is being spent directly on medical research to help people with type 1 to better manage their condition until we find a cure,” he said.

“The Steve Morgan Foundation funding has enabled research into how people with diabetes can avoid low blood glucose levels (known as hypoglycaemia or hypos) which can lead to complications.”

The remaining £3m is being spent on advocacy and information support on behalf of people with type 1, with a particular focus on the impact of Covid-19.

As part of this programme, digital resources and data systems are being improved to provide a more personalised engagement for people with type 1.

Core organisational costs are also being covered which helps to focus fundraising effort on providing funds for type 1 research.

Allan Sutherland said Covid-19 had left a ‘huge hole’ in the charity’s ability to raise money.

“Lockdowns and social distancing have led to the cancellation or postponement of in-person fundraising events, such as marathons, cycles and walks, which has deeply affected the way we raise funds,” he said. “In the last 12 months alone, Covid-19 has impacted our fundraised income by £2m.”

He described the charity’s partnership with the Steve Morgan Foundation as ‘transformational’.

“Through their personal experience of type 1 diabetes, Steve and Sally Morgan are also helping JDRF to raise awareness of the condition and empower thousands of people to be freer from the demands of their condition,” said Allan.

“Working in partnership with an influential family who also understand the impact of type 1 diabetes has been a fantastic way to reach even more people and make a greater impact.

“The support we have received from the Steve Morgan Foundation has been truly extraordinary and we are extremely grateful to Steve and Sally for their continued interest and commitment in our work.”

Sally Morgan said: “Hugo’s diagnosis with type 1 diabetes when he was seven was a bolt out of the blue. Anybody who is aware of type 1 diabetes will know it is a 24/7 365 day-a-year constant challenge.

“It is the only condition where the medication that keeps you alive can also kill you if it’s not administered properly.

“Having type 1 diabetes does not limit Hugo at all but it’s a life-long condition and the hope is that JDRF will find a cure.”

A brand-new Maggie’s Centre in Wirral is set to start helping its first cancer patients from early spring 2021.

Maggie’s Merseyside is being built within the grounds of Clatterbridge Health Park and will support people living with cancer across Wirral, Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales.

The Steve Morgan Foundation is building Maggie’s Merseyside and a new Maggie’s at the Royal Liverpool Hospital at a cost of more than £5m.

The Steve Morgan Foundation is a long-term supporter of Maggie’s having committed more than £8m to the charity including £3m in 2020 from the Community Match Challenge Fund alongside the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS).

Kathy Wright, centre head of Maggie’s Merseyside, said: “Building work on Maggie’s Merseyside has continued to develop well despite the challenges of the current pandemic and we hope to be providing support from our new centre in the spring 2021.

“The builders are Carroll Ltd and they’ve shown dedication and enthusiasm to ensure our centre progresses and we’ve had ongoing communication with both them and the Steve Morgan Foundation throughout.

“The new centre is much bigger than the current facility so will enable us to provide much more support to more people.

“Everyone is really excited about the opening of Maggie’s Merseyside.  It will be wonderful to have a permanent centre here on the Wirral.  We’re all extremely excited as we  wait for the moment we can start supporting people from the new centre.

“The centre visitors, local hospital teams and the community are eager to access the new facilities as well as receiving support in the surroundings of a truly uplifting and inspiration building.”

All the Maggie’s centres are based alongside NHS hospitals and provide free support without the need for an appointment or a referral.

They’re run by expert staff who help people live well with cancer.

During the pandemic Maggie’s centres have remained open to see people by appointment and limited drop-ins for those who are visiting hospitals, while following all guidelines.

The architecture of the Maggie’s building is vital and has been designed to feel like a home from home rather than like a hospital with a kitchen table at the heart.

The existing interim facility at Clatterbridge, which will be replaced by the new building, was built in 2014 for 3,000 visits a year but has been attracting more than 17,000 as demand has soared.

Kathy said: “The new purpose-built centre will provide more space, which means when possible our professional staff will be able to deliver more of core programme, courses and support groups.

“There are 18,000 new cancer diagnoses every year in Merseyside and Cheshire alone, Maggie’s Merseyside is hoping to be everyone’s home of cancer care across Wirral, Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales, not only for the new diagnoses but for people living with and beyond cancer, along with their friends and families.”

Maggie’s Merseyside is being built in the same way as all 24 Maggie’s across the UK and the three abroad.

Kathy said the support of the Steve Morgan Foundation has been critical.

“Our partnership with the Steve Morgan Foundation is hugely important,” she said. “Their support is allowing us to build two brand new Maggie’s centres in Merseyside, the first to replace the much used and much loved Maggie’s Merseyside interim centre on the grounds of the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, Wirral site and the second to be developed on the grounds of the New Royal Liverpool Hospital in the city centre, ensuring our support can reach as many people as possible.

“However, we are also incredibly grateful for the £3m from the Community Match Challenge Fund as this has allowed us to ensure people across England have the psychological support, they need now more than ever.”

Steve Morgan CBE, chairman of the Steve Morgan Foundation, and his wife Sally attended a socially-distanced topping out ceremony at the centre in September.

He said: “I’m really excited by the opening of the new centre and our involvement goes far beyond funding. We’ve also been responsible for the planning, design and construction, which is very unusual for a Foundation.”

A second Maggie’s centre funded by the Steve Morgan Foundation will be built in the grounds of the new Royal Liverpool Hospital in the city centre and it’s hoped construction work can begin in 2022.

59 days. That’s all the time it took for the Steve Morgan Foundation to completely allocate the £20m Community Match Challenge Fund.

The fund consisted of £10m from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and £10m in match-funding by Steve Morgan.

The £10m from the DCMS came from a £85m Community Match Challenge Fund and formed part of the Government’s £750m support package to support charities impacted by Covid-19.

Steve Morgan CBE, chairman of the Steve Morgan Foundation, said: “I’m really proud of Foundation’s work in the last two months, which has meant we’ve been able to distribute £20m of match-funding with the DCMS to more than 125 charities, predominately in the North West.

“These were charities that were desperately in need of funding. The team worked hard to get the money out in such a short space of time. I’m very proud.”

It’s estimated that the Community Match Challenge Fund has benefited more than 850,000 people.

The charities to receive awards include cancer support  organisation Maggie’s, type 1 diabetes charity JDRF UK and Stick ‘n’ Step, which has been helping children with cerebral palsy for nearly 20 years.

Brunswick Youth and Community Centre, which opened its doors in Liverpool in 1947, is another one of those to benefit.

The organisation provides a broad range of services, including two youth clubs, pensioner yoga groups and awareness raising in areas such as social media and knife crime.

Centre manager Keith Lloyd said: “The match-funding has enabled us to continue to provide emergency support to children, young people, vulnerable families and the elderly in Bootle, who have been disproportionately affected by Covid.

“We were going to have to stop providing this support at the end of October but now can continue over the winter months and Christmas up until March 2021, which gives our community a reassurance that this weekly support will be there during the winter months.

“The funding will also enable us to kickstart a programme of wellbeing and early intervention work in support of our children and young people and address some of the impact Covid has had on our community.

“Without this funding this would not have been able to happen and will support our community to become more resilient again.”

Blackburne House, which supports vulnerable women in Liverpool, has also benefited from the Community Match Challenge Fund.

Executive director of operations Andrea Rushton said the grant will be transformational. “We will scale up our counselling and wellness provision to support 465 women over two years,” she said. “We offer a trauma informed reactive and responsive service.

“We will be able to provide our service to many more women over the coming two years and provide them with connection, support and strategies that will help them through times of crises.”

The Steve Morgan Foundation has given out a record-breaking £27m to hundreds of charities in 2020 and helped more than 2.2 million people in the process.

The money includes over £6m handed out as part of the Covid-19 Emergency Fund and the £20m Community Match Challenge Fund with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS).

The Steve Morgan Foundation has also committed to build Maggie’s Merseyside and a new Maggie’s at the Royal Liverpool Hospital at a cost of more than £5m.

Steve Morgan CBE, chairman of the Steve Morgan Foundation, said 2020 was a year that nobody would ever forget.

“Covid-19 has a had a devastating impact on the world but I’m proud of the way that the Steve Morgan Foundation responded,” he said.

“The pandemic was always going to hit the vulnerable first because of the impact it had on the ability of charities to raise money,” he said.

“Our initial Covid-19 Emergency Fund swung into action in a matter of days, making more than 600 awards and directly helping more than 1.4m people across Merseyside, North Wales and Cheshire.”

As soon as that finished it was replaced with a £20m Community Match Challenge Fund, which saw Morgan match-fund a £10m award from the DCMS to help keep hundreds of charities open.

The full £20m included £3m to the type 1 diabetes charity JDRF UK and £3m to cancer support charity Maggie’s and was allocated within 59 days and directly benefited another 850,000 people.

The Steve Morgan Foundation was founded in 2001 and the previous highest amount awarded in a single year was £10m.

Morgan said: “£27m is a huge sum of money but the 2.2 million people directly benefited is even more significant.

“These include people suffering from social isolation, loneliness, mental illness, cancer and the victims of domestic violence.

“Charities couldn’t afford to wait months for an award so our team turned applications around and got the money paid into charity bank account in a matter of days.

“We’ve made a real difference in 2020 and will continue in 2021 in the year or our 20th anniversary.”

Morgan also pledged up to another £1m in match-funding to Cheshire Community Foundation’s Covid-19 Response Fund and paid for 45 Enabled grants for people in need of specialist equipment and eight new Smiley Buses.

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