The Douglas Bader Foundation was formed in honour of Sir Douglas Bader in 1982 by family and friends – many of whom had flown side by side with Douglas during World War 2.
Douglas was honoured in 1976 with a Knighthood for his contribution and work on behalf of the disabled. The mission of the foundation at its inception and today, is to continue Douglas’s work in conjunction with and on behalf of individuals with a disability.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DBF
THE FIRST INITIATIVE (1993)
The first initiative was realised in 1993 – the completion of the Douglas Bader Centre, a facility built at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton, in West London to support rehabilitation services for amputees.
The Centre which, following changes at Queen Mary’s Hospital, is now called The Douglas Bader Rehabilitation Centre, provides a range of facilities and services for amputee members of the community, including a Walking School and Rehab Therapy Groups. Appropriately, this hospital had provided Douglas’s medical care as an amputee for some 50 years. The Centre was opened by the Foundation’s Patron, Diana, Princess of Wales, on February 25th 1993.
THE DOUGLAS BADER GRANT SCHEME (1995)
This initiative provides practical support for the pursuance of achievements by those with disabilities.
This initiative has assisted countless disabled individuals and groups throughout the UK to achieve a variety of goals in diverse areas ranging from education, the arts, sport and recreation to small businesses.
We look at all applications and, depending on the nature of the request, the scheme may help towards or provide the equipment, training, services, further education or other practical support required by the successful applicant.
The most recent recipient of a Douglas Bader Grant, RAFT, The Restoration of Appearance and Function Trust, received a grant to help towards their pioneering research in 2010.
THE LIMB LOSS INFORMATION CENTRE (2005)
2005 saw the creation of a central resource information website for amputees, their families and friends, carers and healthcare professionals.
To date the Limb Loss Information Centre has received many thousands of visitors from around the globe. During the 12-month period from November 2005 to November 2006 the site underwent a period of sustained growth averaging a monthly increase in page views of 6% and an increase in users of 5.7%. During this period a total of 135,000 page views were recorded from 22,000 users with each user visit lasting for an average of 6.3 page views.
The site received an additional 145 registered users bringing the total registered community to 2001. Interestingly there was a traffic spike in July 2006, which may well be contributed to the anniversary of the July 7th attacks.
Working closely with all charities, associations and organisations that assist and provide services or products to amputees, we aim to join up the support and information services currently offered to best pool resources and serve amputees in the most efficient and purposeful way.
Visit the Limb Loss Information Centre by following this link www.limblossinformationcentre.com
BADER BRAVES (2010)
2010 saw the launch of this exciting new initiative by the Douglas Bader Foundation. BADER BRAVES was created as a joint acknowledgement of Sir Douglas Bader’s Honourary Chieftainship of a Canadian Indian Tribe and the bravery of children with limb deficiencies and other disabilities in their efforts to lead normal lives.
It is a tremendous honour, limited to just 40 living people, to be awarded a Chieftainship and one of which Sir Douglas was extremely and justifiably proud.
To date there are very few initiatives aimed specifically at helping children with limb deficiency and other disabilities and their families.
- BADER BRAVES will support children with limb loss and other physical disabilities by offering unique experiences and improving life-skills to increase confidence. The Douglas Bader Foundation has always acknowledged the importance of the children’s families and carers and, in supporting the children, also aims to benefit those people involved in their lives.
- BADER BRAVES will incorporate The Douglas Bader Foundation’s already proven Bader Flying/Young Aviators’ Days providing youngsters from 6-16 with limb deficiency and other disabilities with the opportunity of experiencing flight in a light aircraft.
30th ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF SIR DOUGLAS AND THE FOUNDING OF THE DBF (2012)
30th ANNIVERSARY YEAR OF THE DOUGLAS BADER FOUNDATION (2013)
We have several exciting events in the pipeline to mark this auspicious year for the charity. It is difficult for charities, especially small charities like the DBF, to keep going. There is huge competition especially from the big, funded charities and these uncertain economic times make it even more of a challenge. It is a huge achievement to have survived for 30 years, we are proud to be celebrating this landmark anniversary and very grateful to all our friends and supporters without whom it wouldn’t be possible.
- BADER BRAVES – Our most comprehensive BADER BRAVES Young Aviators Day Programme yet with potentially 13 of these inspirational days on offer. Following the fantastic success of our Winter Wonderland Weekend with the Calvert Trust at Kielder, we are also offering a weekend event at Calvert Trust, Exmoor in February. More events will be announced so please keep checking the Website for details.
- BADER GRANTS – The Bader Grants initiative will be providing grants to help amputees or other disabled to achieve their individual goals. These inspirational Grants will be awarded in the spirit of Douglas Bader as a fitting 30th Anniversary tribute to the positive and determined attitude he showed during his lifetime.
- TEAM BADER CYCLING – 2012 saw the creation of this new venture. Under the auspices of 2 of our Ambassadors, Wyn Jenkins and Margaret Biggs, who are cycling enthusiasts, TEAM BADER will welcome cyclists of all abilities to represent and raise funds for the DBF. As a bonus, cyclists will get to wear the brand new, bespoke DBF cycling gear and increase awareness of the charity in the process. TEAM BADER will be taking part in several cycling events and challenges in 2013 in support of the charity. Please keep checking the Website for details and contact us if you’d like to join in. You’ll be made very welcome whatever your standard.
- AMBASSADORS – We will be adding to our list of worthy Ambassadors
- EVENTS & FUND-RAISING – There are various Events and Fundraisers, both group and individual completed and in the pipeline. Please keep checking in for details and please join us if you can. If you’d like to organise a fund-raising event yourself, we’re always happy to help and advise.
- FACEBOOK & TWITTER - You can now become a friend of the DBF and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
It is early days and there is more to come so please keep checking the pages to be kept up to date with progress.