Clare Morley from the Footsteps Foundation, and also a member of Oxford Rotaract Club, spoke to us about the Foundation’s work from its base in Dorchester on Thames. The Foundation was set up in 2004 and supports children with neurological disorders by providing intensive physiotherapy.
Clare has worked for the Footsteps Foundation for about 12 months and she told us about some of the children whose lives had been transformed by the physiotherapy provided by the Centre. Grace has cerebral palsy and at three years she could not crawl and her parents were told that she would never walk. She was able to follow the intensive physiotherapy programme at the Footsteps Centre and her parents noticed a difference after three sessions. Her core stability improved and she can now walk independently.
The Footsteps Centre is the only centre in the UK that has the specialist equipment used to treat the children. The spider is an arrangement of elastic ropes adjusted to exercise different parts of the body. Clare told us that the fifth spider was due to be installed the following day. Children have sessions of 2 – 3 hours per day for 5 days a week over three weeks. Without financial support from the Foundation, many families would not be able to afford the treatment. The Centre receives no government or NHS funding. A three-week programme costs £1,500. Families travel from all over the UK and so they have the additional costs of accommodation while visiting Dorchester.
Footsteps has an Open Day on 11th May and it is the Footsteps Cerebral Palsy Awareness Week from 11th to 18th May 2013.
Read more about the Footsteps Centre and the Footsteps Foundation.