A person in the UK who requires the use of a wheelchair typically has a “personal wheelchair budget” based on the person’s clinical need as assessed by the clinician in the local NHS wheelchair service. This prescription is based on a collaborative conversation between the person requiring the budget and the clinician. There are multiple variations of the personal wheelchair budget available, depending on your desires and needs. Ultimately the NHS wheelchair services hold the power to decide whether you can receive funding for a WheelAir or not.
Once the budget has been decided it is difficult to make amendments. The key problem is that the topic of overheating or over-sweating is often found out afterwards and not included within the discovery conversations. It is exactly this we are trying to change. When your symptoms relate to a clinical need, for example, your autonomic nervous system has changed, then that could be a reason to make adjustments to the budget.
The NHS is currently in a transitional process with personal wheelchair budgets being updated and rolled out. The way assessments are done is changing to be more collaborative, but every wheelchair service will decide what they fund and not fund. We urge you to speak to your clinician, use our Knowledge page to fully understand the health implications of overheating, over-sweating and the influence of microclimate on skin integrity, look at our Case Studies and understand your clinical need to help aid the wheelchair service decision.
Access to Work
Access to Work is a publicly funded employment support programme that aims to help more disabled people start or stay in work. It can provide practical and financial support for people who have a disability or long term physical or mental health condition.
An Access to Work grant can pay for practical support to help you:
- start working
- stay in work
- move into self-employment or start a business
The Steve Morgan Foundation
The Steve Morgan Foundation was founded to support projects that help children and families, people with physical or learning disabilities, the elderly or those that are socially disadvantaged in North Wales, Merseyside, West Cheshire and North Shropshire through its Enable fund. This provides support for disabled people who are in financial hardship to obtain specialised equipment that cannot be supplied by the NHS, Education or Social Services. They provide grants for many items including Mobility aids, wheelchairs, buggies, hoists, trikes, etc.
Independence at Home
Independence at Home may be able to help you if you, or a member of your family, have a long term illness or disability and need financial help towards the cost of equipment, home adaptations or other essential items to improve your independence, comfort, safety and quality of life at home.
The eligible conditions include spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and cerebral palsy. Grants are available for a full range of mobility equipment, including manual and powered wheelchairs as well as for daily living.
Wheels for Martin’s Friends (South Cambridgeshire areas)
For over 25 years, Wheels for Martin’s Friends has been helping people of all ages with their disabilities. Their website states: “If you require help and have been unable to obtain funds from the NHS or do not have the funds yourself to buy the equipment required, then please contact us. We will do everything to help if we can.”
Hospital Saturday Fund
The Hospital Saturday Fund is a registered charity whose aims are to provide assistance through its charitable funds. It will give full or partial grants to individuals for specialised mobility equipment (excluding for sporting purposes), wheelchairs, mobility scooters and car adaptations.
Barchester’s Charitable Foundation
Barchester’s Charitable Foundation helps older people and other adults with a disability across England, Scotland and Wales.
It gives grants to help reduce isolation and loneliness, promote group activities and generally improve people’s independence, mobility and quality of life. Grants range from £100 to £5,000.
- Older people 65+
- Adults 18+ with a physical or learning disability
- Adults 18+ with mental problems
- Small community groups and charities.
The Elifar Foundation
The Elifar Foundation funds a wide range of specialised equipment, therapies and respite for children and adults with profound disabilities, physical disabilities or learning disabilities. Items funded in the past include Wheelchairs, beds, specialised seating, trikes, communication aids, sensory equipment, holidays, treatments and therapies.
ACT’s grants generally fall into the following areas: building (funding modifications such as stairlifts, bathroom adaptations and vehicle adaptations), equipment (provision of specialised wheelchairs, other mobility aids and equipment including medical equipment to assist independent living) and financial assistance towards the cost of respite breaks.
The Headley Trust
The Headley Trust is one of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts that provides grants for the disabled, carers and the elderly.
It has a small grants programme providing grants of up to £2,500 to help people purchase equipment. All disabilities are included and applicants must be over 16 years.
The trust is able to provide funding towards items such as electric wheelchairs, adapted computers, communication aids, stairlifts, scooters and adaptations to vehicles – any equipment that will improve quality of life.
The Steve Morgan Foundation
The Steve Morgan Foundation supports small and medium-sized organisations in North Wales, Merseyside, West Cheshire and North Shropshire through its Enable fund. This provides support for disabled people who are in financial hardship to obtain specialist equipment that cannot be supplied by the NHS, Education or Social Services.
Beneficiaries must live in the Foundation’s geographical area.
It provides grants for both children and adults to obtain:
- Mobility aids, wheelchairs, buggies, hoists, trikes, etc.
- Specialised beds and sleep systems, postural chairs, seating and car seats
- Sensory equipment
- Communication aids, specialised software, specialist alarms
- Medical equipment, support wear
Aspire Grants are available to anyone living in the UK or Ireland with a spinal cord injury. The grants provided assist with the purchase of much-needed equipment, giving those with spinal cord injuries the independence most of us take for granted.
Through their Grants Aspire has helped hundreds of people get the equipment they so desperately needed, from assistive technology to powered wheelchairs, power-assisted wheels and lightweight wheelchairs.
Southern Spinal Injuries Trust
The Southern Spinal Injuries Trust assists people with spinal cord injury, enabling independence and quality of life. This can mean anything from funding resources for the spinal centre to funding individual needs in respect of specialist equipment or other assistance.
The grants they make are usually in the range of £250 to £3,000, and lower grants are usually approved more quickly.
Regain aims to help British sports tetraplegics lead independent and fulfilling lives.
Money is available for potential REGAINERS to help provide them with the specialist equipment they need to enable them to achieve greater independence and improve their quality of life. Applications are limited to those with a sports-related spinal cord injury resulting in tetraplegia. The fund is principally for the provision of specialist equipment, though if funds permit, other requests may be considered.
For Children Grants
Variety Children’s Charity
Variety Children’s Charity aims to provide whatever is needed:
- It may be medical, such as monitoring equipment.
- It may be basic care like feeding tubes or hoists.
- It may be sensory play or mobility equipment for a nursery or playgroup
The Hope Foundation for Children
The Hope Foundation aims to improve the lives of children and young people affected by illness, disability or poverty. They provide funding for anything (with a few exceptions) that will benefit the child such as medical equipment, computers, holidays and days out.
Tree of Hope
Tree of Hope is the crowdfunding charity that helps children and young people with a disability or illness by supporting their families to raise the money they need to pay for specialist care that is not freely available through the UK healthcare system.
The Multiple Sclerosis Society provides help and guidance on obtaining grants and financial aid from charitable and statutory funds. The MS Society branches can support individuals with financial help towards equipment, adaptations to the home and car, and top up funding for respite breaks.