About us

AFK is a national charity supporting disabled children, young people and their families.

Our history

In 1991, our founder Sally Bishop wanted to raise money to purchase a powered wheelchair for a disabled boy who couldn’t get the equipment he needed on the NHS.


After making calls from her front room, she soon had enough donations to purchase the chair. Over the next few months several more families contacted Sally for help and in 1992 “Action For Kids Charitable Trust” was formed.


Over the next few years our services expanded to include a maintenance programme for the wheelchairs we provided, as well as a programme of work-related learning in our office, where disabled students could develop skills in a working office environment.


Sally retired in 2012 and collected a well deserved OBE later that year.

Sally Bishop and young person in wheelchair

Why we exist

a stick figure in a circle representing person centred, three hands over eachother representing collaborative, figure with two uplifting hands representing empowering

Person Centred: We put the interests, beliefs and ambitions of everyone AFK works with at the centre of everything we do.


Collaborative: AFK is a collaborative community, and we work together to help young people lead independent and fulfilled lives.


Empowering: AFK unlocks everyone’s potential by enabling everyone we work with to feel appreciated, supported and motivated.


The social model of disability

Our focus is on a young person’s potential and aspirations, not the apparent barriers they face. This is part of the social model of disability, which says that disability is caused by negative attitudes and exclusion within society, rather than the individual’s impairment.


This is different to the medical model of disability, which simply looks at the functions of the body and whether it conforms to what’s seen as ‘normal’.


Here at AFK we work to address and remove the social barriers that disable people, by providing mobility equipment, education support, skills training and helping young people secure work placements. We believe these services are an essential part of helping young people succeed.


We believe it’s our social and economic structures that stop disabled people from living an engaged and fulfilling life, not the impairment or disability.


This is what we tell our students and trainees: you don’t need to change; society does.

group standing around art

Learn more

If you are interested in reading more about the Social Model of Disability, we recommend this article by Mik Scarlet, an inclusion and equality trainer as well as a journalist, broadcaster and disability advocate.

What we do

We provide mobility equipment not available on the NHS and prepare students with learning disabilities for life after school through our training and work experience programmes.

girl riding trike on pavement

We provide specialist mobility equipment not available on the NHS to disabled children and young people up to their 25th birthday.

man behind a till at a bar in pub

We help disabled young people aged 19+ develop the life and work skills they need to live more independently and move into paid employment.

girl standing at market stall selling artwork

We use a number of innovative models of support and skills development including travel training, leadership programmes and self-employment support.

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