This page lists the grants that Donations With A Difference has awarded since achieving registered charity status in July 2014*. To apply for consideration for a future grant, first please refer to our grant-making policy, then apply online.
* Previously DWAD raised thousands of pounds for several other good causes including Movember, Sport Relief, and Children With Cancer UK.
Stephanie has been ill with encephalitis and epilepsy since 2001 and also has functional neurological disorder and spinal issues. Stephanie came to us with a request for a manual wheelchair to ensure she has mobility all of the time as her electric wheelchair is far too heavy to get in and out of cars, needs to be able to get around her home more freely and she requires the flexibility to not be housebound in the colder and wet months of year when it is far safer to use a manual compared with electric wheelchair.
Rachel is 10 years old and suffers from a defective gene, Tub 3, that has caused a congenital brain abnormality and continuing associated difficulties. Rachel was born with a club foot and wears AFO's on both feet to enable her to walk short distances. Rachel had a conventional wheelchair but it wasn’t able to cope with any terrain other than a smooth pathway which meant the family were not able to take many days out as a family. Donations with a Difference were delighted to fund an all-terrain buggy which is used all the time giving Rachel much more freedom.
Following on from a grant towards the end of 2019 for Lucy to have a Delichon Delta off road buggy we have now funded a further £468 to provide Lucy with a cycle conversion kit.
To further Lucy’s development we supported an additional request for a specialist trike to enable Lucy to become more independently active in outdoor spaces.
Claire’s mum Lyn May contacted us asking for a donation of £500 towards a wheelchair for her daughter Claire. She had been tirelessly fund raising for an electric wheelchair for her daughter Claire, 47. Claire had spent many years in a manual wheelchair due to having both legs amputated above the knees in 2012. Before that she spent many years in excruciating pain with gangrene in both legs after first having her toes removed and the wounds not healing added to which she has a protruding disc in her lower back. Donations With A Difference were thrilled to step in and agree to help Lyn with her mission by funding the remaining £2,100 needed for Claire’s new electric chair.
Ella has a diagnosis of four limb cerebral palsy, global developmental delay and has recently undergone bilateral hip reconstruction and hamstring release. Ella does not have any purposeful movement and so she relies completely on her parents to care for her and the use of her chair is invaluable to the family. However when the weather is poor it means the family wouldn't be able to give Ella the fresh air and outside experiences she needs. We therefore provided Ella with the rain canopy and cover to enable this to happen.
SeeAbility approached us with a request for £382 to purchase specialist sensory equipment they needed for their residents in Maidstone. The introduction of the Roberts Opus Digital Radio would mean they would enjoy quality time using a device that has been created for people with visual impairment and learning difficulties.
To assist with Dennis’ pre-school development, to enable Dennis to create better posture to manage his condition we purchased a specialist small wooden chair, designed for nursery age.
This hospice approached us with a request to purchase a bariatric bed and mattress to be used in their hospice by many who will need it in the coming years.
Zoya was in need of a specialist car seat, so we purchased via her healthcare support’s application a Cosatto Judo Group 123 Carseat - Bunny Buddy car seat.
We purchased a tilt in space wheelchair with carer assist for Sharon as she has scoliosis, osteoporosis of the spine and shoulders. Sharon suffers from a condition called FHD and has many physical and mental disabilities.
Hannah has a permanent connective tissue disorder, as well as many other health conditions that mean she will require a liver transplant in the future. As it is, she is unable to walk without the use of aids such as crutches inside the house, but relies on a wheelchair being pushed by others to be able to manage outside. She does not qualify for a non-standard wheelchair on the NHS despite her physiotherapist, occupational therapist and rheumatologist all agreeing that she needed one in order to be able to leave the house independently
Hannah said “going to university is very important to me as I am very academic and want to study biomedical science to potentially go in to medical research”. Donations With A Difference stepped into provide Hannah with the power chair she needed so that she can pursue her ambitions.
Aubree is 6 years old and has Salla Disease which is an incredibly rare metabolic disorder. It is genetic and neurodegenerative, she has two class V gene faults that mean her body does not process a chemical we make naturally called Sialic Acid. It causes a build up in the body’s tissues and is toxic to brain matter so over time it destroys brain and central nervous system tissue.
Aubree is also visually impaired, has scoliosis, a seizure disorder, global developmental delay, is PEG fed and is under Demelza Hospice care.
Donations With A Difference funded Aubree's wheelchair as she had outgrown her NHS-funded specialist pushchair and the NHS were only able to offer a small standard wheelchair as a replacement. This chair now makes a real difference to Aubree's comfort and posture while she is outdoors with her family.
Gunnar, aged 15 months, has Salla disease like his older sister, Aubree. They are the only people in the UK with this condition, with just a handful of occurrences worldwide.
Due to Gunnar's age he will not receive help via NHS wheelchair services until he is at least 3. He has profound postural needs and appropriate seating for when the family are out and about will benefit him. Donations With A Difference funded a pushchair wheelbase to fit the Size 1 Leckey Squiggles seating system.
Tony has suffered for many years now from fibromyalgia and it has been progressively getting worse. A good friend of Tony's approached Donations With A Difference to ask us to ease Tony's condition by providing him with a mobility scooter that would allow him to leave the house without having to rely on his wife and give him a much better quality of life.
We were delighted to provide Tony with a Kymco Maxer Mobility Scooter from Deal Mobility. Tony said "This scooter is amazing, so quiet, smooth and very good on my back. I cannot thank you guys enough for making my life so much better". This now means Tony can travel around his home town of Deal and make his way to the beach where he likes to sit and look out to sea.
9-year-old William Green-Rose has a diagnosis of global developmental delay, epilepsy, right side weakness, optic nerve hypoplasia and visual impairment but he has gained some mobility over the years. This has meant that he needs lots of physical help to stand and walk, and as he develops further he needs more support which will be offered by the LiftVest paid for by Donations With A Difference.
William does not have an effective grip so cannot hold a walker or rails so the LiftVest helps by distributing weight evenly and supportively, and its multiple handles provide for safer lifting, transfers, and re-positioning.
Tree Tots is a weekly outdoor under-5s group set up by experienced primary school teachers Joanna Flaifil and Stephanie McCullough. The group runs every Monday morning in the beautiful private woodland and smallholding of Whites Wood Farm. Their aim is to bring people together to provide exciting, outdoor opportunities for children, with a host of physical and emotional health benefits, and a support network and ideas for the adults. Parents/carers and their children are invited to join in with a range of exciting activities such as free, unstructured play, scavenger hunts, making food/insects out of natural objects, reading under trees, and climbing on fallen logs, and share in a snack and story/song time.
Donations With A Difference provided moneyto buy initial equipment such as pots/pans/spoons, tarpaulin, and books, and pay for other set up costs.
Curtis, known to his family and friends as Curly, is seven and has severe cerebral palsy, epilepsy, scoliosis and hip dysplasia, and is blind so needed a Smart Mustang Power Chair to gain some independence and “normality”. The Power Chair allows him to travel independently along a pre-determined route using a head switch control.
Curtis' family had been raising money to purchase the chair when Donations With A Difference stepped in with a cheque for the remaining £15,538 that they needed, much of which was raised at the Kent Construction Golf Day.
Having previously supported the work of SeeAbility, a charity that helps adults with sight loss and other disabilities, the Donations With A Difference trustees were happy to fund the purchase of specialist equipment for the kitchen at their Maidstone residence.
Rebecca Compton, SeeAbility’s Strategic Partnerships Officer, explains “The plan is to buy a whole range of new equipment to improve the accessibility of the kitchen, including oven shelf guards, lidded jugs and bowls, safe knives, finger guards, talking timers and easy use tin and jar openers.” She goes on to say “This has all been suggested by our Vision Rehabilitation team to help the ladies have more independence when preparing food.”
Vivhaan Pradhan was born unconscious and not breathing. Two years later, with learning and mobility difficulties, Vivhaan was finally diagnosed with Bilateral Cerebral Palsy. The Orchards Centre in Sittingbourne, where Vivhaan attends with his mother Prerna, recommended purchasing a special trike as this had helped children in a similar position.
At a cost of £1,200, and without any funding available from the NHS, Prerna approached Donations With A Difference, who helped with the funding. Vivhaan was measured up for the trike by a specialist company and it was delivered in March.
Prerna said: “The bike will help Vivhaan’s mobility and will allow him to develop his social skills by interacting with other children on the street.”
Jacob Marley is nearly 5 years old; he lives with quadroplegic cerebral palsy and has dystonia, spasticity and seizures, and is PEG-J fed caused from a lack of oxygen at birth. Donations With A Difference recently provided Jacob with a GoTo seat - a safe, supportive, lightweight and portable seat designed to provide additional upper body postural support for children with disabilities.
This has allowed Jacob to be seated on the floor with his friends and younger brother, enabled the family easier access to visit friends and family as the seat is adaptable to fit other existing chairs, and has given Jacob a new perspective in his life.
With financial support from Donations With A Difference, Relate has started delivering a play therapy project at The Orchard School in Canterbury to help vulnerable youngsters access one-to-one talking therapies to improve their future well-being. For these children it’s their last chance at securing an education. They struggle to go to school and have bad behaviour and low attendance. These pupils often have very troubled home lives, so they are helped with their personal issues to improve their educational engagement and progress.
DWAD was delighted to award the Orchard School £3,200 towards their total project cost of £12,000. The project will deliver eleven face-to-face sessions with 16 youngsters over the coming year.
For the second year in succession, Donations With A Difference funded and delivered, in association with Pam Jones and Action on Homelessness, Christmas boxes for 24 homeless people in Folkestone. These boxes included winter essentials such as hats and gloves as well as toiletries, chocolate, biscuits and other snacks.
13-year-old Layla Brunger suffers from Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a condition where mobility is impaired through muscle wasting. When she was eight, Layla developed mobility problems with her right arm. The situation became steadily worse over the next five years. Her mum, Ann, heard about the trialling of a groundbreaking new robotic arm at the Orchards Centre in Sittingbourne. She trialled the robotic arm and the results were so encouraging that the Orchards Centre put her in touch with Donations With A Difference, who provided a grant of £2,536 to cover the full costs.
Donations With A Difference was pleased to be able to recently assist School House Nursery in Sandwich with a grant to purchase some soft play safety mats to replace some damaged ones and increase their offering to children. The mats will not only increase the current soft play area but provide the children with a safer environment to learn in.
Govind Nambier from Crayford was born with Diplegic Cerebral Palsy, resulting in him having no use of his lower limbs. After an operation when he was five he was able to walk with a Kaye walker frame and has since progressed to walking with normal sticks. He will have another eight operations while he is growing to improve his mobility.
Like most young boys, Govind wished to ride a trike. He was measured for one by a specialist company but the £1,200 cost was beyond the reach of his parents. DWAD came to the rescue and provided full funding.
Kent teenager Kelly Turner had a rare form of cancer and needed to raise £1 million to fund life-saving surgery and treatment in the USA. DWAD donated all of the proceeds from our 2016/17 Super10 competition to Kelly's appeal. Super10 also allows players to win money for a cause of their choice and players Darren Mills and Mark Harbottle also chose to support Kelly with their winnings.
Sadly Kelly passed away in November 2017 but her family and friends continue to raise money for the Institute of Cancer Research in her memory.
Donations With A Difference provided a grant of £1,450 to help the disadvantaged with training and job opportunities at new radio station Radio Sheppey FM Community Radio.
The Radio station focuses on providing training and voluntary opportunities to local people of all ages that are physically or mentally disadvantaged causing their social isolation. They currently have presenters that suffer from Parkinsons or dementia, are wheelchair users or stroke victims, in remission from cancer or fighting depression. Others have severity of autism or Asperger syndrome. The project raises their aspirations, develops their life skills and greatly increases their self-confidence, esteem and motivation.
Theo is a 5 year old boy from Deal wanting the chance to live a pain free life. Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy is a spinal operation that will benefit Theo hugely by removing all spasticity (stiffness) in his body.
On the 15th December 2016 Theo had an assessment at Great Ormond Street London to assess Theo for an SDR Assessment (Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy). The criteria is very strict as they will only accept the child if they feel it will hugely benefit them. The operation and rehabilitation costs £50,000.
Theo’s mum, Naomi Morton, contacted DWAD as she was aware we had have helped children in similar circumstances. We have agreed to pledge £1,000 towards her fundraising efforts. When the operation goes ahead Theo will no longer be in any pain and will have the chance to use his legs properly. He will achieve the independence that he so desperately desires.
17-year-old Adam Bassett from Sheerness was born with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. His mum Sally said, “Adam stopped walking when he was 12 years old and since then he either sat on the sofa or his bed.”
Staff at the Orchards Centre in Sittingbourne - a multi-agency specialist hub that helps disabled children and their families - felt Adam’s mobility and quality of life would improve with a bespoke electric armchair. Unfortunately when the cost was presented to the NHS board it was rejected. Rachel, Adam’s Occupational Therapist at the Orchard Centre, liaised directly with DWAD chairman Wayne Hodgson. He met with Sally and Adam in their home and agreed that Donations With A Difference would fully fund the purchase of Adam’s new chair.
The chair was delivered on Thursday 19th January to a very happy Adam. His quality of life and independence has now been vastly improved.
Donations With A Difference funded 21 Christmas boxes which were handed out to local homeless people by DWAD trustees Will Chan and Alan Tingey. These boxes were personally prepared and wrapped by the DWAD trustees.
The boxes were organised and handed out in association with Pam Jones and Action for Folkestone Homeless and were warmly welcomed by their recipients. Each box contained cold weather essentials such as a hat, gloves, socks and a rain mac; towels and toileteries including shower gel and deodorant; useful items such as a torch and mug; and a stash of chocolate bars, biscuits and other snacks.
For the last three years Pam Jones has set-up a table on Christ Church Road providing meals for the homeless. She started by providing a couple of meals a day and now provides home cooked meals for up to 30 people daily - all prepared in her own kitchen.
Pam said “I desperately needed additional storage and a friend suggested I contacted Donations With A Difference, a local charity who donate money to local worthy causes.”
Delivered and operational at the end of October, Pam is delighted with her new shed: “I can’t thank DWAD enough for their donation,” said Pam, “I now have my conservatory back, although only temporarily as it will soon be filled with Christmas shoeboxes and warm winter clothing for the homeless.”
10-year-old Holly Filtness from Sheerness was diagnosed at the age of two with cerebral palsy with dystonia, a condition that affects all four limbs. Staff at the Orchards Centre in Sittingbourne recognised the need for Holly to have an electric chair but unfortunately due to strict NHS criteria she didn’t qualify for one.
Wayne Hodgson, chairman of DWAD remarked "We're a small local charity and can look at applications on a more holistic basis. Holly's application seemed a very worthy case and we are delighted to be able to help."
RMS, a local manufacturer of mobility aids identified the powered wheelchair with the best fit and suitability for Holly. The chair is their popular Invicta model, built with an aluminium frame and was delivered to a very excited Holly.
Sheppey Matters is one of Swale's leading regeneration charities co-ordinating a wide range of community activities at their base in the Healthy Living Centre and around the Isle of Sheppey.
Nigel Martin, Sheppey Matters Chief Executive contacted Donations With A Difference for help to fund their disabled young persons club. The disabled young person's club meet once a week in three sessions with 25/30 young people aged 12-25 taking part. The sessions offer sport, arts and crafts, drama, dance, radio broadcasting, DJ workshops, games plus discussions and workshops about issues affecting young people.
The £1,125 awarded by DWAD will pay for the weekly sports hall hire for an entire year.
Donations With A Difference has raised £410.00 for Pilgrims Hospices through various events. The money we have given to the organisation will pay for over 20 hours of nursing care for patients.
Pilgrims Hospices is a registered charity that provides free-of-charge specialist care to patients and families across East Kent to help them cope with incurable illnesses and to make the most of the time that they have. Yet every year it costs £14 million to maintain the three hospice locations, of which £11 million has to be self-generated through organising events. Without donations like ours, the hospices would struggle to survive.
SeeAbility Maidstone provides a lively shared service for young adults living with sight loss and additional disabilities, aiming to transition to greater independence in the future.
The donation will go towards buying a talking microwave, an electric hob and other items of cookware that will enable the residents to cook safely and independently in their new home in Loose, Maidstone. The plan is for the residents to move in in stages from 15th August, and once settled they will be having a Mad Hatters themed party to celebrate.
Lilly-Ann Robertson suffers from a very rare genetic illness that affects the MED12 gene - she was the first reported case in the world. Her mother Roxanne said ‘When Lilly-Ann was born we were aware of problems but not the severity. Lilly-Ann is unable to walk, talk or do the things a child of her age should be able to do.”
Roxanne raised nearly £3,000 to pay for a Tiny Trax power chair for Lilly-Ann but still needed another £3,000. She had read about Donations with a Difference (DWAD) and wrote to request a grant. Chairman of DWAD, Wayne Hodgson said “We were all so taken by Roxanne’s request we decided to donate the remaining £3,085 needed to order the Tiny Trax chair.”
DWAD contributed to the cost of heart screening for Folkestone's young cricketers. The screening is performed by Cardiac Risk in the Young and will identify most cardiac abnormalities.
At least 12 young people die suddenly each week in the UK of previously undetected heart problems and offering screening will help to raise awareness of symptoms amongst coaches and physiotherapists as well as raising awareness throughout sport of the risk of Sudden Death Syndrome / Sudden Cardiac Death and highlight the families that are most at risk.
Finley suffers from a form of muscular dystrophy called Duchenne. The disease, which affects just one in around 3,600 boys, means four-year-old Finley will most likely not live much beyond the age of 25.
Thanks to our supporters who sponsor us and attend our events we were in a position to fully fund the £5,950 cost of a specially equipped wheelchair for Finley. The wheelchair has been carefully designed to enable access under school desks at a very young age and has the ability to grow with Finley so that he can continue to gain access to desks and tables as he gets older.
In July DWAD awarded a grant of £600 to Katharine House Hospice in Mid Staffordshire to fund the purchase of an infusion pump for use by the nurses on the in-patient unit. This pump will be used to infuse and control the delivery of fluids and antibiotics to a patient's body.
DWAD provided £1,000 to support Leonard Cheshire Disability's Kent Active project. This will deliver 24 weeks of sports activities which will be available to all of their Chipstead residents and day service users to participate in, allowing them to pick and choose which activities they would like to do.
SeeAbility Maidstone provides a lively shared service for young adults living with sight loss and additional disabilities, aiming to transition to greater independence in the future.
The money donated will buy much needed equipment: an iPad to help the girls shop online and utilise apps to help them to become more independent; and a Trekker Breeze handheld talking GPS device to help them navigate in the 'outside world'.
Demelza Hospice Care for Children requires £9 million each year to run its services; so every donation is important. £80 pays for a tank of petrol for their minibus so that they can take children out on trips. £40 pays for a music or art therapy session for two children giving them the opportunity to express themselves and creating memories for their families.
Donations With A Difference raised money for Pilgrims Hospices through our Super10 and World Cup Predictor competitions. The money we gave to the organisation will pay for over 67 hours of nursing care for patients and, without money like this, the hospices would struggle to survive.
Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance need to raise £6 million per year. The average number of call-outs per day is two per region at a cost of approximately £2,500 per call out. The helicopter is capable of travelling 150 mph which means it can go from Deal on the East Kent coast to King's College Hospital in London in about half an hour.
The £260 that you helped us to raise might be put to good use as follows: £120 for a protective Road Traffic Collision helmet, used by the crew inside crashed vehicles; 4 x £33 for specialist bandages designed to actively clot a serious wound; £8 for enough drugs to perform a general anaesthetic.