Community spirit: fundraising to power young children’s independent mobility

alison-rushgroveLast year, Bath Golf Club chose Designability as their charity of the year. In that time, they managed to raise enough to fund two more Wizzybugs for the loan scheme. Here, Alison Rushgrove, former Ladies Captain and member of Bath Golf Club, tells their story and reveals how her own personal experiences led them to us.

My family have actually known about Designability since my son, Ben Rushgrove, was very young. They kindly engineered some equipment to help him while he was at primary school. I then went on to hear about their Wizzybugs when Ben, an ambassador for the charity, helped to make and star in a promotional film back in 2014.

Having Ben meant that I had first-hand experience of having a child that is unable to walk. We were told that he may not walk when he was a baby and, indeed, he did take a long time to get going. I know how important it is for a child to be independent and mobile in those early years. For that reason, the Wizzybug Loan Scheme, run by Designability, seemed such a good cause.

The idea of the Wizzybug strikes a chord with most people who can relate to the possibility of having a child or grandchild who may not be independently mobile. It is alarming to think that, before Wizzybug, there was nothing similar available and no funding to provide it. Everyone at Bath Golf Club thought it would be a good idea to be able to raise money for something that is designed, built and distributed in the local area. People can see exactly where their money is being spent and targeted, unlike some other charities where you are not always exactly sure what happens to the money raised.

‘It is the most rewarding charity I have ever given money to’

We have been overwhelmed by the response to Designability from our club members.  Right from the beginning, members were emotionally attached to the idea of Wizzybug and were adamant that we would raise enough money to fund one for the scheme. When we had a Wizzybug in the clubhouse, members were fascinated and wanted to know more about the actual device and the charity. One member said ‘It is the most rewarding charity I have ever given money to.’ Another made her husband stop the car when travelling through town because she had seen a child in one!

Our members raised money in all sorts of ways. As a whole club, we organised: an Auction of Promises, a Spring Fair, raffles at our Open Week, a Bridge Day and an auction of gifts that were donated.  Individually, members ran the Bath Half, donated their premium bond or lottery winnings, organised clothing sales or simply kept pressing notes into my hand to put in the charity pot.

In the end we actually raised enough money to build two Wizzybugs – more money than ever before raised by a Captains’ Charity!  I think that says it all.

A charity helping to solve real problems

Designability are focused on providing solutions for real and pressing problems that people with disabilities encounter in their daily lives.  I would have no hesitation in recommending the Wizzybug Loan Scheme and Designability as a charity to fundraise for.  They have been extremely good with providing marketing support for our events and are always available at the end of a phone line to provide information or answers to questions.

Could you support Designability in 2017/18?

Designability’s work relies on donations. A big part of what we do is funded by the amazing efforts of community fundraising by groups like Bath Golf Club as well as individuals who take on challenges in our name.

Please get in touch with our fundraising team to find out more.

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