Introducing the Practical Intervention Fund

It’s been almost a month since Katie joined the Touretteshero team as our new Solidarity Worker. She’s working on some exciting projects that we hope will provide better support and creative opportunities for children, young people and adults in our communities. She’s here to tell us about the first of these today. Over to Katie for more:

A hand drawn image on a punchy bright yellow background with the Touretteshero logo at the top. The text reads Practical Intervention Fund and is made out of the shapes of different types of aid for example the P is made from grab rails the I and F are made from crutches and the D is a collapsible cane.

I’m really excited to be writing this post today, because it means I get to tell you about a new pilot project we’re launching – the Practical Intervention Fund.

Practical interventions are things that help to make your life as a disabled or neurodiverse person easier. Most day-to-day items are designed with non-disabled people in mind, so finding practical solutions that make life more accessible or improve your wellbeing, is really important.

One of the absolute necessities for me is adapted kitchenware, and I’ve had this as part of my life since I was a teenager. I’m particularly fond of one specific piece of cutlery. After I brought it into university one day, when questioned about it by a good friend, I could think of no better way to explain it than by calling it “my disability fork”. The same friend began asking after Disability Fork regularly, and we’ve both grown quite attached to it and the role it plays in our friendship.

A metal fork with a chunky grey grippy handle.

Some interventions aren’t as obviously disability-specific as my trusty Disability Fork and its family of kitchenware, which I got from a specialist living aids shop. Practical interventions can be as mainstream as a heated blanket or a hot water bottle – both must-haves in my house for pain relief! These types of things, while many people may own them, are used in a wide variety of ways.

Now, with COVID-19, finding things that support you in your daily life is extremely important. Most of us are adjusting to new ways of living and different routines, which means our day-to-day access requirements might have changed, too. It’s vital to focus on wellbeing and self-care during these times. Touretteshero is keen to be a source of support and solidarity, which is why we’re launching the Practical Intervention Fund.

This fund can help cover the cost of a practical item that is likely to improve the wellbeing of disabled or neurodiverse individuals or families. This could include:

Weighted blankets,
Noise cancelling headphones
Massage cushions
Or sensory boxes

These are just suggestions, and specific item requests are very welcome.

This is a pilot project, and we imagine that items for individuals wouldn’t exceed £100 per person. If an item is benefiting a family, or more than one disabled person, the upper limit is £250. This fund is not for medical products or therapies. We will supply the item and the recipient will be responsible for maintaining and using any item safely.

The fund is for anyone who identifies as disabled or neurodiverse, or who is a parent/carer of someone who is disabled or neurodiverse (this includes children and adults waiting for a diagnosis). To be eligible for the fund, you must live in the UK and be unable feasibly to buy the item(s) yourself. You can view more information by downloading our fund overview.

These are the stages of the process:

Email me with your contact details and a brief overview of your item request, and who you are requesting it for. You can also let me know if you’d like to discuss different options for items, based on your needs – The closing date for requests is Monday 1st March 2021

• I’ll get in touch if I need more information about you, your family or the practical intervention you’d like

• After the closing date, we’ll review the requests and make decisions about who we are able to help

• We’ll let you know if we’re able to help with your request or not

This is a pilot project, so we’ll be learning as we go – please let me know if you have any questions. An easy-read version of this information is available here.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Like Katie, I’ve felt the value of practical interventions and have made a list of what’s helped me here. Over lockdown I’ve also been experimenting with some new items such as a wobbly power plate to help with pain and fitness, and a new brand of colourful lidded cup that gives me lots of joy. We’re looking forward to learning about what would make a difference to you and your family.

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