my AFK – Working with Disability is a national charity supporting disabled children and young people in the North London area and across the UK by funding specialist mobility equipment and providing Education, Training, and Employability programmes.
How Did They Start Out?
AFK founder Sally Bishop formed “Action For Kids Charitable Trust” in 1992 after successfully helping a London-based family raise funds for their disabled son’s powered wheelchair that was not covered by the NHS. Since 1992, AFK has grown in both size and scope to address the wider needs of disabled children and young people and enable them to overcome many of the social, physical, and financial barriers to their independence. AFK provides a range of programmes to address their mission - to give as many disabled young people as possible the opportunity to work or volunteer in their community, to create a world where everyone living with a disability lives the life they choose.
Find Out About the Statistics...
Within the UK, there are currently an estimated 360,000 children and young people aged 0-24 who have a disability that affects their mobility, needing specialist equipment at some point in their life. To address this need, AFK’s mobility services team provides funding towards mobility equipment not covered by the NHS to disabled children and young people up to their 25th birthday. This includes powered and manual wheelchairs, specialist trikes, powerpacks and power assists, car seats, and walkers. They also offer advocacy support to ensure statutory services have provided appropriate support where necessary and are available to help applicants and their families with fundraising.
There are 1.4 million people in the UK who have a learning disability, yet just 6% are in paid employment. This is due to social stigma, lack of opportunity, and lack of education and training for and about disabled young people. AFK aims to address this through their Education and Training and Life and Work Programmes, taking a practical and multi-faceted approach to helping disabled young people aged 14-26 by providing a wide range of personalised education, training and employability programmes to young people and schools in 8 North London boroughs.
How Does My AFK Help?
Their Education and Training Programme works with students aged 14-19 to build learner aspirations, employability skills, and confidence in order to one day move into paid or voluntary work. The programme is tailored to meet the needs of each individual and provides opportunities for work experience and work placements. The Life and Work Programme works with young people age 19-26 and builds employability skills even further by providing work placements, travel training, and life skills classes. Their highly experienced job coaches help young people find employment, provide support into and throughout work, and support employers in supporting their young people.
AFK also runs a holiday programme that operates during school holidays for disabled youth aged 14-25, offering a safe environment for young people with learning disabilities to meet new people and try new activities. The programme has a variety of sports and recreation activities, which promote and build confidence, develop their social skills, overcomeme fear or anxiety and help improve physical and mental health. The programme promotes independence and encourages attendees to make choices, give their opinion, try new activities and meet with new people.
How Can You Help?
If you want to help this amazing charity in their mission to offer help and support to children with disabilities then give them a vote in this month's charity poll! Simply click the circle next to their name on the right to show your support for this wonderful charity.
Find out more here: https://www.my-afk.org/