Kim Bragger, 58, was diagnosed four years ago and her condition seriously limits her mobility; she has had to rely on a manual wheelchair, and the help of other people, to get around. The constant pain she suffers as a direct result of her ailment makes even moving around her home very difficult.
Kim’s husband Derek, 69, also suffers from arthritis which makes pushing his wife in his wheelchair extremely challenging, so much so that Kim is often left alone in the house as Derek is unable to push her wheelchair around town.
This lack of independence left Kim feeling depressed, as her situation confines her to her home, meaning she misses out on things other families take for granted, such as family days out and even a simple trip into Birmingham city centre.
Happily, because Kim is a customer of OneFamily, a mutual organisation owned by and run for its customers (also known as members), she was eligible to apply for a personal grant from the OneFamily Foundation which intends to provide £5m to be used by its members over five years.
"Now we are looking forward to making more special memories with our family, especially those we haven’t been able to see for a couple of years"
Thanks to the Foundation, Kim is now the proud owner of a motor-powered wheelchair, which will not only give her back her freedom but will also allow her to be more adventurous. Planning a trip to visit her family in Cornwall will be more enjoyable , as she will be able to visit more places without having members of the family having the hard job of pushing her in her old wheelchair.
It will also relieve a lot of strain for Derek, who said: “The OneFamily Foundation has been an absolute God-send for us. I don’t know what we would have done without it. The motor-powered wheelchair has already changed our day-to-day life, and we can’t wait to use it more when the weather picks up!”
He continued, “The uneven paths around our neighbourhood had made it even harder for us to get out and enjoy spending time with our grandchildren. The motor on the wheelchair has solved that problem and now we are looking forward to making more special memories with our family, especially those we haven’t been able to see for a couple of years.”
OneFamily is a mutual organisation providing investments, savings, health and life insurance products to help families work together to meet the financial demands of modern life. As a customer owned business it is run for the benefit of its members. The OneFamily Foundation redistributes a portion of the organisation’s profits, and aspires to make £5 million available to members over the next five years to help them, their families and their local communities. The Foundation has already helped hundreds of members with personal grants since its launch in 2014.
Julie Stead-Connor, community manager at OneFamily said: “Quality time with family is incredibly important, so we’re really pleased to be able to help Kim and Derek spend more time with their family, and visit relatives they haven’t been able to see for some time. Having a motorised scooter has enabled Kim and Derek to be more independent and improve their quality of life – a win win.”
Following the merger of Engage Mutual and Family Investments to become OneFamily, members of both organisations can now apply for OneFamily Foundation funding. Members are encouraged to visit https://foundation.onefamily.com/ to apply. Money is available for members which may be used to help them and their families in times of hardship or when support is needed to make things a little bit better.
The OneFamily Foundation (formerly the Engage Foundation) was set up to benefit its customers, their families and the communities in which they live and work. There are two ways they can benefit; personal grants or community awards. A number of personal grants of up to £500 are available every month to help them, or someone close to them in times or hardship, or simply to make things a little better. Community awards are open for nominations in Spring and Autumn, with awards of up to £5,000 and £25,000 available to help fund projects in their local community.