Meningitis Now staff member Andy Hopkinson

Rebuilding Futures Fund helps Helen get around at home

Andy Hopkinson | 14th December 2019

The prospect of bringing the countryside indoors every time she came home was a bit much for quadruple amputee Helen. But thankfully our Rebuilding Futures Fund was available to provide a practical solution to improve her independence  – a small indoor powered wheelchair

Helen D Rebuilding Futures Fund

Helen, who lives in rural Norfolk, contracted meningitis just after Christmas in 1997, leading to multiple amputations.

She told us: “As a quadruple amputee I use a wheelchair in the home and for longer distances outside which are too far for me to walk. I am supplied with a wheelchair from the NHS which I use for outside."

“As I live in the country, just popping to the local shop leaves my wheels caked in thick mud."

“I don’t want to bring an outside wheelchair into my house – besides, it is too big to go through some of my doorways."

Difficult to push

“I’ve tried using a manual wheelchair to get around indoors, but it’s really difficult to push with no hands and it also means I can’t carry anything."

“A small electric wheelchair helps me get around my home with ease."

“Before the indoor wheelchair from Meningitis Now I was just making do with crawling about the house as I couldn’t drive my outdoor chair inside or my house would have been absolutely filthy!"

“This chair has made my life infinitely better. I can now make a cup of tea as I’m at the right height and carry it to another room. I have a lot more independence and I’m not making my legs sore by crawling around."

Huge difference

“I’m so pleased Meningitis Now has this fund. My life as a quadruple amputee is so expensive and having this little bit of help really makes a huge difference to me and my family."

“So many organisations are only about meningitis prevention but Meningitis Now is also there for survivors and recognising how difficult our lives can be.”

Meningitis Now Support Services Manager Cheryl Brown said, “Meningitis can have a devastating impact on many aspects of life and the financial pressures the disease brings can often be significant."

“That’s where our Rebuilding Futures Fund can help, providing practical solutions that make a real difference and reducing stress and anxiety. Providing a small powered wheelchair for Helen is a perfect example.”

Financial, practical and emotional support 

Our Rebuilding Futures Fund provides financial, practical and emotional support for people of all ages affected by meningitis.

It comprises four separate areas – Health and Wellbeing, Opportunities, Bereavement and Specialist Equipment. Each area provides funding towards different types of support, but they are all designed to help people rebuild their futures with hope and confidence.

If you, or someone you know, would benefit from the Fund please get in touch by contacting our Helpline on 0808 80 10 388.

  • Glen awarded grant from Meningitis Now Rebuilding Futures Fund

    Rebuilding the future for Glen

    A contribution from our new Rebuilding Futures Fund has helped one of our supporters hang on to his independence

  • Meningitis Now support event - Family Day Bristol Zoo

    We're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo

    Corporate Fundraiser Matt wrote about meeting our supporters, chatting with some of our families – and having his face painted as some sort of whiskered animal

  • Mark Jefferies Meningitis Now Remembrance Garden blog

    Hosting in the Garden

    The occasion, just like the garden itself, was a constellation of grief, optimism and every emotion in between, but what was perhaps most striking was the feeling that this was a safe and secure place

  • Chester Zoo dream night for meningitis families

    A night at the zoo

    Ten of our families in the North West who are living with the impact of meningitis were treated to a special private “dream night” at Chester Zoo