Recently The Alpkit Foundation was delighted to make a small donation towards the cost of delivering accessible bushcraft and forestry skills daysat the NeuroMuscular Centre (NMC) for young people with muscular dystrophy. In order to provide fun, stimulating and accessible activities for young people who have muscular dystrophy (md), a progressive and long term physical disability, NMC has forged a link with a specialist organisation who delivers bushcraft and forestry skills adapted to enable people with complex physical disabilities to participate in.
Lyndsey Cannon-Potts from the NMC takes up the story on why these kinds of activities are so important. "Young people with MD typically have the more severe types of the condition which results in them having very limited mobility, using a powered wheelchair and requiring care and support from others. Learning new skills and spending time with peers are vital outcomes of this project.
NMC is keen to work with children and young adults (13-25 years) with MD at the earliest possible stage to ensure that they develop a trusted relationship with an organisation which is likely to support them for the rest of their lives. NMC is the Centre of Excellence for people with MD, providing specialist services and support for this specific group. Engaging with young people can be challenging and using activities such as the ones proposed to encourage participation and to broker friendships and social interaction among the peer group. The other benefit is that for carers school holidays can be hard to find appropriate activity for young people which means that carers do not receive a break which has a negative impact on their health and wellbeing."
The NMC already does loads of brilliant work for people with md, but this project in particular sat well with the Alpkit Foundation ethos and it's great to be able to put a little something into helping the NMC to deliver these accessible bushcraft and forestry skills days, specifically adapted for young people to engage and do things they thought were impossible due to their physical condition. As Lyndsey says. "NMC is pushing the boundaries with this project as it involves a level of physical input that isn't typically within the capabilities of people with md. This activity shows NMC's ambitious and adventurous approach to living with md."