The WPA Charitable Foundation´s roots go back to 1940 when the Western Provident Association was known as the Bristol Hospital Fund. The Charity is registered with the Charity Commission Reg. No. 230151: http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk.
The role of the WPA Charitable Foundation is to support and assist families in financial distress with profoundly ill children. These children, more often than not, require intensive specialised treatment far from home, often for days or weeks at a time. The Charity provides essential help with travelling and accommodation costs - that makes so much difference in these deeply distressing circumstances.
Sadly, it is not possible to apply directly for assistance - the Charity relies upon a network, established over many years, of Social Services Officers and healthcare professionals to bring essential, documented cases to the attention of our grants team.
If you would like to make a donation or need further information please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to our direct charitable endeavours WPA has a formal policy that grants two fully paid days of Charity-Work leave to all members of staff, to be spent on any local charitable causes of their choice.
Here are some examples that demonstrate the help and support that we provide (where the names have been changed to preserve anonymity):
Charlotte - 10 years old (05/2012)
With her mother recovering from breast cancer and, in the same week as her sister completed her treatment for Orbital Rhabdomyosarcoma (a rare childhood cancer with an estimated 250-350 new cases per year), Charlotte was diagnosed with the same, but in a more aggressive form. She is now undergoing very intensive treatment giving an opportunity for the Charity to help with the family´s travel expenses.
Harry - 18 years old (05/2012)
Harry was fit and active prior to a severe Brain Stem Stroke in 2011. He is now in a Locked-in Syndrome state and has had a number of chest and urinary infections, a collapsed lung following pneumonia and c-difficile diarrhoea. Harry is totally dependent on others and can communicate, despite problems with his vision, via an eye-gaze computer. His father has given up work and the family has moved into rented accommodation near Harry´s hospital while his mother works 150 miles away giving the charity an opportunity to help.
Keith - 13 years old (07/2012)
Keith lives in Truro and has had High Functioning Autistic Spectrum Disorder for a number of years, which has deteriorated since a tooth extraction to the extent that he now poses a risk to himself and his family. His condition necessitated several inpatient admissions to the only appropriate specialist children´s psychiatric unit in Kent. Keith´s father has health issues so his mother is the family carer. Now on a low income, the family is struggling with the extra travel, accommodation and care costs, which the Charity is assisting with.
Chloe - 1 year old (09/2012)
Chloe has a rare genetic bone disorder and has been an inpatient in a number of hospitals since birth. Devastated by Chloe´s illness, which is both life limiting and life threatening, Chloe´s parents have stayed with her causing tremendous financial hardship. The Charity was able to provide vital financial support during this very difficult time.
Sonia - 4 years old (01/2013)
Sonia has Down´s syndrome and has had complex epilepsy since birth with much time spent in hospital having treatment and investigations. Sonia´s mother looks after her two other children and will soon be starting maternity leave while her father is not working so that he can be with his daughter. This has had a significant draw on the family´s finances and the Charity was able to support them at this difficult time.
Joe - 12 years old (03/2013)
As a result of having been diagnosed with cancer 6 months ago, Joe has had surgery to amputate his leg, which has been followed by intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy. His father, a single parent, has had to give up work to be Joe´s full time carer and is struggling financially because Joe is regularly being admitted to hospital. The charity was pleased to help with the travelling costs.
Toby - 2 and Alfie - 3 years old (03/2013)
Brothers, Toby and Alfie have an hereditary condition which has resulted in them having profound deafness, cleft palates and being registered blind. As the brothers have quite complex diagnoses, the frequency of visits to hospitals has been high causing the family a great deal of strain, financially and emotionally, as the implications of the boys disabilities impacted on their ability to work. The Charity was pleased to be able to support the family at this distressing time.
Nathan - 17 years old (02/2013)
Eighteen months ago, Nathan was diagnosed with a tumour and has been on constant treatment to try and prolong, and increase the quality of, his life. Despite recent scans indicating a rapid progression of the disease, Nathan is positive and doesn´t want to give up. He is on an intensive treatment protocol and often has to be in hospital. The family finances have plummeted and they are struggling financially due to the amount of unpaid time off work. The Charity was able to provide vital financial support to help.
Simon - 15 years old (02/2013)
When he was 3 years old, Simon was diagnosed with cancer and he had to undergo chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments. Sadly Simon has relapsed and as a result has had to have one eye removed. On top of this, he has had to spend many days in hospital and further treatment was required which resulted in substantial travelling costs, towards which the Charity was pleased to help.