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Grants available for people living with disabilities in Somerset and Devon

Jan 20, 2020

Grants of up to £1,000 are available for people living in Somerset or Devon with physical disabilities, learning disabilities or both to take part in music therapy, music experiences and outdoor adventures. The grants are made possible by a fund called Mary’s Beat, which has been created in memory of Mary Christabel Dyer.

Administered by Somerset Community Foundation, Mary’s Beat will consider funding for individuals to participate in an activity which would not otherwise be available to them. Eligible activities include music therapy, one-off concerts, and outdoor activities that will build self confidence, encourage participation and inspire hope for the future. Previous grants have been awarded towards the cost of specialist buggies, trikes and wheelchairs, football season tickets, music and equine therapy, and outdoor activity days.

Kirsty Campbell, Programmes Manager at Somerset Community Foundation, said: “So far, Mary’s Beat has awarded ten grants totalling £5,900 and the Fund is currently open for grant applications until Monday 2 March 2020.  It’s fantastic to see Mary’s Beat helping people have fun, positive experiences which they’ll enjoy and remember for years to come.”

Mary was born with severe disabilities and required constant care, however she lived a rich and rewarding life. She loved attending live music concerts and enjoyed the great outdoors: camping, walking in her adapted wheelchair, and cycling in her ‘Duet’ wheelchair bike.

Mary’s parents, who live in Cossington [between Street and Bridgwater], launched the fund at the start of 2018. Debbie, Mary's mother explains: "Mary was so enthusiastic about life, she embraced it and made the most of every single day. We want this fund to reflect her passion and vitality for outdoor activities and live music – especially walking, cycling, camping and music festivals.”

Piers, Mary’s father added: “Our 2018 sponsored bicycle ride in France was such a success that my sister and I will now be raising funds to help others once again. This time we’re cycling to the Hoge Veluwe National Park in the Netherlands this August. It’s where Mary had her first cycle ride on a Duet wheelchair bicycle.”

If you have any questions regarding Mary’s Beat please call Kirsty on 01749 344949 or email: Kirsty.campbell@somersetcf.org.uk


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