A grant from the Joseph Patrick Trust recently helped one woman keep her job and her independence.
Charlotte Mills-Murray, from West Yorkshire, has congenital muscular dystrophy, and received funding from the Trust towards adaptations to her car. As a British Sign Language interpreter, Charlotte relies on her car to access work, and needed a new Paravan Space Drive system to be able to continue.
We asked Charlotte to explain how the adaptations, part-funded by the JPT, have helped her stay independent:
The JPT grant helped me to continue driving. The Paravan Space Drive system is a highly sophisticated adaptation which can enable the most severely disabled people to drive. When I started struggling to drive with my existing hand controls I knew if I did not have a solution I would lose my independence and ability to work. I could have someone drive for me, but that would be taking away from me a task that I could do and holding onto those things is important.
With the Space Drive hand controls, driving is enjoyable again. I love driving- when I have wished I could just get up from my wheelchair and run, going out for a drive made me feel free, and that has been given back to me. I can drive to work, to the shops and can go wherever I want. I no longer have pain when driving and am not further damaging my limited arm function. The best thing is that these hand controls can be adjusted as my condition progresses, which means the grant I was given has given me a driving solution for the life of my vehicle.
The grant to fund my hand controls has given me back confidence and enjoyment. I take less time off work due to pain and not being able to drive far, I don’t have to restrict my driving or the journeys I make, and I feel that a huge sense of independence and freedom has been restored to me. I really want to say a massive thank you to everyone at MDUK and JPT- knowing there is support there makes a huge difference!
To learn more about the Joseph Patrick Trust, or to apply for a grant, please visit the JPT web pages.
Applications are considered by the Grants Panel on a quarterly basis; the deadline for new applications will be January 24th 2018.
To learn more about driving and vehicle adaptations, take a look at the Trailblazers report Drive: the road to independence.