‘How the Muscular Dystrophy UK’s Joseph Patrick Trust helped me be independent’

Published Date
Zoe Holder
Michael JPT

The Joseph Patrick Trust is the grant-giving arm of Muscular Dystrophy UK, and provides funds towards specialist equipment for children and adults with muscle-wasting conditions. The aim of the Trust is to promote independence and quality of life,

Grants are awarded for equipment not available through statutory services, including wheelchairs, scooters, and mobile arm supports. The Grants Panel are also keen to award grants towards communications-based Assistive Technology.

Michael McDonnell, from Norwich, who has an undiagnosed form of muscular dystrophy, was awarded a JPT grant towards the cost of an electric wheelchair earlier this year.

I think I had got used to not being able to access many places.


MDUK have been very helpful to me on a number of occasions regarding specialist equipment, benefits and disabled parking.


Most recently MDUK helped me enormously by providing funding for my powerchair. This is my first powerchair, and it has had a huge beneficial impact on my life- I’m now able to go into shops, cafes and many lifts which couldn’t accommodate my large mobility scooter. It’s also very useful for visits to the hospital, GP and dentist.


When I’m with friends I feel much more connected to them on the powerchair than I did on my mobility scooter, which is very bulky and much higher than the powerchair. I’ve also been able to go to the cinema, something I hadn’t been able to do since 2002!


My only regret is that I wish I had got an electric wheelchair much sooner.


MDUK made the application process very straightforward and couldn’t have been more helpful. They worked with my local specialist provider to ensure that the powerchair was a good fit and that it met all of my needs.

The Joseph Patrick Trust meets four times a year, with the next panel meeting scheduled for early August 2017. Applications are anonymously assessed by a panel of service users, parents, and professionals from around the UK.

If you are interested in receiving a grant, the deadline for new applications will be 19 July 2017. After this date, the next deadline will be 18 October 2017, for the 1 November 2017 panel meeting. Interested applicants are required to fill out a form, and supply a quote for the equipment and a supporting letter from a health professional.

For further information about JPT grants, please visit www.musculardystrophyuk.org/jpt or contact the team on 020 7803 4811.

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