Mae Murray Foundation
Creating inclusive environments and opportunities
Mae Murray Foundation was established in 2016 by a group of families experiencing social exclusion and isolation as a result of complex disability, age or medical conditions. The aim of this member led organisation is to create inclusive environments and opportunities that enable true participation for all in community-based leisure and social activities.
A collaboration of 750 member families
The Foundation is now up and running four years and has over 750 member families who collaborate to design, trial and develop services that meet their needs. The organisation offers a variety of projects and social events, some aimed at increasing independence and improving essential skills, others at facilitating family time and building support networks. All events bring together the additional resources and support which many families or individuals need to be able to participate. In focusing on projects that enable participation by those with the most significant needs, Mae Murray Foundation develops projects that can accommodate everyone together.
Facilitating quality family experiences
Mae Murray Foundation boasts an impressive track record in delivering projects which improve the quality of life for member families. Three inclusive beaches have been created with access to specialist beach wheelchairs, mobility aids and personal care equipment enabling all the family to enjoy a day at the beach. Members can also avail of the Early Years Powered Mobility Loan Scheme. Social projects catering for school aged children, teenagers and adults run throughout the year in addition to music workshops and Get Active sessions.
Mae Murray Foundation promotes projects that enable true participation for all.
Activity based Teen Hubs
The Teen Hub was first piloted in 2019 as a youth club for young people aged 12-20 of all abilities take part in activities, experience independence and enjoy friendship together in an inclusive environment that facilitated their personal care needs. The additional provision of onsite emergency medical assistance enabled greater participation and independence by those with the most complex medical needs whilst also providing opportunities for caring families to benefit from a little time out. Activities have included arts, craft, clay making, Christmas party, music workshops, games night and escape room.
In early 2020, when many members were having to shield themselves from the threat of Covid 19, Mae Murray Foundation mobilised its army of volunteers and demonstrated its ability to be agile and responsive to member’s needs. The Teen Hub was replaced with more frequent online provision in the form of teenage ‘chatty sessions’ enabling young people to chat, stay connected and maintain friendships and peer support online.
Fifty-five young people have benefitted from opportunities to develop friendships and have fun, whilst learning life skills and getting active. Significantly, 78% of participants with a disability reported considerable social and personal development, 80% have developed new skills and 88% are experiencing substantially improved emotional health.
The innovative Teen Hub
young people experience independence and enjoy friendship
of participants benefitting from improved emotional health
The Teen Hub has recently been recognised by BBC Children in Need who have agreed to fund it, alongside a number of other activities specifically targeted at teenagers, for a period of three years. As a fitting tribute, Mae Murray Foundation volunteers were also recently celebrated with the presentation of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.