A 45-year-old man who was left paralysed after an accident whilst on holiday is now able to enjoy a better quality of life thanks in part to an Enable grant for a new powered wheelchair.

Paul, who lives in Southport, broke his neck whilst on holiday in Crete as a 20-year-old back in 1993, leaving him requiring 24-hour care and unable to sit in a manual chair, but with just enough movement in his arms to control a powerchair.

Paul is the proud father of 11-year-old twins and while his previous wheelchair was satisfactory for basic use, it was not suitable for any outdoor activity, which limited the quality of the time spent with his children.

“Being a good father gives Paul a sense of purpose and became a key focus in his life, while he also gets out every day taking his cocker spaniel Sweep out for long walks,” says Lindsey De Bartolo, Enable Funding Officer with the Steve Morgan Foundation.

“Over the years Paul has found himself wanting to explore more, and in certain circumstances found himself stuck because his previous chair was unable to take him to all the places he wanted and needed to go to.

“As Paul’s children have grown older, he had not been able to share in all the activities that he would like with them, and that had affected his mental health.

“He talked about the feelings of isolation and anguish at taking his children to Formby Beach with his carer, and sitting on the path watching them go further and further away.

“It was things like that which Paul said was the hardest part about being paralysed.

“The All Terrain Extreme X8 Powerchair has not only allowed Paul to access off-road areas with his family, it has also enabled him to continue his hobby of wildlife photography.

“It has had a really positive impact on his welfare and quality of life and has expanded his opportunities and life choices.”

An Enable grant of £5,000 was awarded towards the overall cost of the Powerchair of £14,500.

“I can only thank you from the bottom of my heart and the £5,000 grant was a big help towards getting this chair,” said Paul.

“Recently in Anglesey, I was able to go places that I could only dream of and for years have watched people go and see the sights which I could not see, but that now has changed thanks to you.”

*The Enable fund awards grants towards specialised equipment for people of all ages.  Call (01829) 782808 for more details or visit the Enable section on our website.

It has been a busy summer for The Reader, a national charity which sparks personal and social change, by bringing people together and books to life.

The organisation successfully secured grant funding of £373,000 from the Steve Morgan Foundation back in June to support First Page – a project that will significantly improve the life chances of over 2,000 disadvantaged children in the North West and inspire them to develop a life-long love of ‘reading for pleasure’.

Working with partners across the region, The Reader will be embedding Shared Reading – bringing children and families together to explore literature aloud – within services across communities to ensure that families who could most benefit from the experience can access activities close to home, in places that they know and trust.

Through First Page, The Reader is delivering training for staff and volunteers who can then run their own Shared Reading experiences with children or weekly story and rhyme time sessions.  The project also offers ‘Stories for You and Yours workshops’ which are relaxed sessions for parents and carers who want to build confidence and share short stories with their little ones.

The project also offers families and partner organisations a chance to take part in Family Fun Days at The Storybarn– The Reader’s imaginative play space in Liverpool where young children and their families can share in the delights of reading together. This will give people from across the North West an opportunity to experience the unique, immersive sessions enjoyed by thousands of local families each year.

Kara Orford, Children and Young Persons Manager, said: “It’s been wonderful to welcome families from partner organisations, including Alder Hey, Home-Start and Croxteth Family Matters, to our Family Fun Days throughout the summer.

“So far, 99 adults and 139 children have joined us to take part in a jam-packed programme of creative crafts, outdoor adventuring, ice cream and, of course, lots and lots of stories.

The feedback form the summer Storybarn Family Fun Days tells its own story:

“The staff are fantastic and kept my grand-daughter amused all day,” were the words of one grandparent.

“Today was the first time I have seen her listen to a whole story with interest,” added a parent.

The Steve Morgan Foundation first worked with The Reader back in 2010, and the trustees have always been impressed by the entrepreneurial approach with which the charity has pursued its mission to bring about a reading revolution that makes great literature accessible to everyone.

The Reader, which last month hit a major milestone when it reached 500 Shared Reading groups across the UK, is hoping for an equally busy and successful end to 2018 as it continues to call for volunteers who can help to make Shared Reading part of the fabric of society.

TheReader, which also has links to other charities supported by the by the Steve Morgan Foundation (including Home-Start Southport & Formby, Rock Ferry Family and Tomorrow’s Women Wirral) uses Shared Reading to improve well-being, reduce isolation and build community and  connectedness across the UK and beyond. Having hit a major milestone last month when it reached 500 Shared Reading groups across the UK, the charity is hoping for an equally busy and successful end to 2018.

To find out more about The Reader, visit: www.thereader.org.uk