About my AFK

smiling young person and support workers standing together

my AFK is refreshingly easy to describe: we are a national charity supporting disabled children, young people and their families. We do this by providing mobility equipment not available on the NHS, and preparing students with learning disabilities for life after school through our accredited education, training and work experience programmes.

 

The right piece of mobility equipment can mean the difference between playing outside with friends or watching from the sidelines; between working and going to college or relying on others for everything. It can help with pain management, muscle strength and independence. For 26 years we have been committed to providing those pieces of equipment – such as bespoke powered wheelchairs, specialised trikes and walkers – which cannot easily be obtained elsewhere. We accept applications from children and young people up to the age of 25 who cannot get the equipment they need through the NHS. Find out more here.

 

Those who join the Life and Work Programme develop skills for employment, travel and self-advocacy. We want to help young people aged 19+ to feel confident talking about what they want for your future, to travel on their own, and to find work they enjoy. Our team of Job Coaches and Employment Brokers helps participants to figure out what they want to do, and then help them find a job that matches your skills. Most of our trainees have gone on to be successful in their work: 88% of our trainees are still in paid employment. The Life and Work team also works with businesses and organisations to create friendly working environment through free training and support. Read more here.

 

During school holidays, young people with disabilities can find that opportunities to have fun with others are few and far between. Our Holiday Programmes offer a safe environment in which young people with learning disabilities can meet new people and try new activities including:

 

  • Sports, including cycling, trampolining, swimming, horse riding, climbing, martial arts and basketball
  • Music, including music production, singing in the vocal booth and playing musical instruments
  • Performance arts, including street dance and circus skills
  • Other activities include arts and crafts, cooking, hair and beauty, photography and horticulture (gardening).

 

Young people with special educational needs and disabilities can sometimes feel ignored, or that their views aren’t taken seriously. A vital element of building confidence in telling others what they want and need is the development of the skills to advocate effectively.

 

Our Advocacy Project is designed to help young people make their voices heard. Moreover, the my AFK Youth Council enables members to share their views with our Senior Management Team and other young people. Members of the Youth Council can also attend a leadership course, work with other advocacy groups and develop media campaigns. Last year, they led a campaign in the local community to raise awareness of disability hate crime. Their actions led to great discussions with local businesses about how we can make our community more friendly to disabled people.