John Allwright the treasurer of Park Hall Lodge No 8375 met a lady called Val Thompson some years ago in his role as treasurer for Ormskirk District Scouts as Val used the District Scout Headquarter for dog training.
In 2013 Val fell down the stairs at home and as a result was paralysed from the waist down. She spent nearly a year in the Spinal Unit at Southport Hospital and has been in a wheel chair ever since then.
Val returned home in 2014 having been assessed as in need of continuing care by the NHS who cared for her at home.
A few months after returning home Val was told that her NHS funding was being transferred to the local authority who carried out an assessment and subsequently told her the funding was going to be cut and she would have to fund the care team herself.
During the following year Val supported by friends and members of Douglas Valley Lions spoke to her MP, appeared on BBC North West and was featured in the Champion Newspaper who took up her case to highlight her plight.
After a visit to Val’s home by a director of the commissioning support unit another assessment attended by social services, district nurses, carers and the spinal injuries association was carried out. Following this assessment Val’s funding was restored.
Due to Val’s injuries she needs a new wheelchair costing £19,500, The Douglas Valley Lions, started an appeal to raise funds for the special wheelchair, and the Champion ran an article about her and the funds needed.
John applied to the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity on behalf of Val with the support of the brethren of the lodge. Following the grant committees review of the appeal they agreed the maximum grant of £5,000 towards the appeal.
The Douglas Valley Lions were delighted to hear about the WLFC grant which took the funds raised to the target of £19,500 plus a small surplus, which will go towards the insurance and other incidentals that may be required for Val’s new wheelchair.
John says when he presented the cheque for £5,000 to Val she was overcome by the generosity of the Freemasons, and did in fact shed a few tears.
Val is now using the new wheelchair, which is a highly technical piece of equipment, including Bluetooth, the facility to assist her to move from a sitting position to a standing one and stabalising when travelling over uneven surfaces.
Val: ” said this new wheelchair will improve the quality of my life more than I could have dreamed about, thanks to everyone who has made my life so much easier.”
If you think the WLFC can help you click here to read about how to apply and download the application form.