Grant helps B.I.R.D charity recover from ‘double whammy’

A charity dedicated to improving the lives of people with learning difficulties and brain injuries can continue its work after an emergency grant from the Steve Morgan Foundation. 

The Centre for Brain Injury Rehabilitation & Development (B.I.R.D) is based in Eccleston near Chester and has been helping people regardless of their age and the severity of their condition for 38 years.

The charity offers a therapy for a range of conditions including cerebral palsy, autism, strokes and dyslexia.

B.I.R.D needs to raise £250,000 a year but was grounded by a ‘double whammy’ when Covid-19 struck.

Charity manager Helen Schielke explained: “The majority of our work is done face-to-face for therapy treatment. All of a sudden the work, which is vital, couldn’t take place.

“Covid-19 also hit our cashflow. We rely on voluntary donations and fundraising events and we had to cancel a number of important events. It was two-fold.

“One of the problems is it literally happened overnight and it’s difficult to adapt to. The families we support can already feel isolated and it was really important that we could still support them in these uncertain times.

“The thing with autism is a lot of the children we work with crave routine. They don’t like change. It can be a real challenge for the children and their families and you can’t prepare a child for that.”

In desperation the charity applied to the Steve Morgan Foundation for help and were awarded £8,800 from their Covid-19 Emergency Fund.

“It was a godsend,” said Helen. “It enabled us to provide some of the support we did before but in a different way, whether that was telephone or digital support.

“The award really helped our cashflow and was a real weight off our shoulders. The children really need us.

“What the Steve Morgan Foundation is doing is fantastic. It reaches out to a sector that is absolutely needed.”

Steve Morgan, founder of the Steve Morgan Foundation, said: “The speed of Covid-19 made it very difficult for charities to prepare and really hit their cashflow. That’s why we’ve made sure we pay approved applications quickly. The Centre for Brain Injury Rehabilitation & Development (B.I.R.D) has done a brilliant job already for 38 years and many more to come hopefully.”

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