Frequently Asked Questions about mobility equipment

**Update 13th October 2022**

We are currently closed to new applications for mobility equipment. This is due to an unprecedented number of applications in recent months.  We will review the position in mid February and hope to open around that time. In the meantime, we are sorry for any inconvenience caused.

 

Who can apply?

We welcome applications from or on behalf of children and young people up to their 25th birthday, who need specialist mobility equipment or a wheelchair to help them become more independent. The child or young person must be resident in the UK.

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What equipment can I apply for?

We provide funding for mobility equipment, including:

  • Powered wheelchairs
  • Manual wheelchairs
  • Sports, all terrain, off road and beach wheelchairs
  • Specialist buggies
  • Specialist trikes
  • Mobile hoists
  • Power packs (to add power to a manual chair)
  • Car seats and harnesses
  • Walkers

What equipment isn't funded by my AFK?

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We do not provide funding for:

 

  • Static equipment such as specialist chairs, seating and beds
  • Standing frames
  • Static exercise bikes and treadmills
  • Hoists (except mobile hoists)
  • Vehicles or vehicle adaptations
  • Ramps, lifts and building works
  • Sheds for storing mobility equipment
  • Non-mobility equipment such as communication aids, laptops or sensory rooms
  • Equipment housed most of the time at school and mainly for school use only.
  • Equipment for a school or community groups

 

There are other organisations that fund mobility equipment – click here to see the list.

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How long will I be on the waiting list?

AFK is reliant on donations from charitable trusts, companies and individuals, so it is impossible to predict the wait time for equipment. It really depends on the money we receive during the year. Also, a number of our funders restrict their donations to a region of the country or an age range or cost of equipment, which could mean that applicants will have different wait times.

 

As a rough estimate, we aim to fund items costing less than £3,000 within 3-6 months and more expensive items within 6-9 months. However, high cost powerchairs with multiple specialist functions can sometimes take a little longer.

 

We also help families with their individual fundraising to contribute to the cost of equipment they are applying for. We do this by supporting them to draft applications to trusts, businesses and local charities as well as sending them AFK literature and t-shirts for events. Individual fundraising can make the wait time shorter.

 

If the waiting list becomes very long (with anticipated wait times over one year), we will close it for a few months.

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What fundraising support can AFK provide?

For items over £2500, the mobility team will work with the applicant or their family to fundraise the balance of the equipment. This will involve applying to other charities, organisations, and sometimes businesses for additional pledges of support.

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Does AFK means test?

We do not take into consideration family income unless it is above £85,000 gross.  Where the income is over £85,000 gross we consider a range of factors including geographical location, cost of the equipment and the number of children in the family with a disability.  We do not fund equipment where the family income is over £100,000 gross.

 

For those age 18 and over, we disregard family income where they are living away from the parental home for most of the year, for example in supported accommodation or in residential college.

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Do you provide joint funding with other charities and/or families?

Yes, joint funding helps our funds go further to support more children and young people. We encourage families to apply to several charities as well as AFK – a list of other organisations that fund equipment can be downloaded here: Other organisations that fund Mobility Equipment. We are also happy to apply to other charities on the applicant’s behalf – most of which are on that list.

 

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Do you accept wheelchair vouchers towards the cost of a manual or powerchair?

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I only need a small grant from AFK as I am applying to several charities. Can my AFK pledge a sum of money?

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If I contribute to the cost of the equipment – say by providing £2000 towards a £4000 wheelchair – will it reduce my wait time on the waiting list?

We aim to provide equipment to applicants who have been on our waiting list for the longest time, but the wait time is also dependent on a variety of factors. We will work with the applicant or their family to fundraise the balance of the equipment as quickly as possible.  Securing financial support or pledges from additional sources does mean it is likely we can supply that equipment more quickly.

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Do you fund equipment that will be mainly used and stored at school/college?

No – we fund mobility equipment where the main use will be from home and to get out and about in the community.

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Do you maintain and repair the powerchairs you fund?

AFK will take responsibility for funding all non accidental damage repairs and maintenance for the life of the powerchair (usually around seven years) or until it is not economically viable to do so. If your chair needs a service or attention, you simply contact AFK or the supplier/engineer directly and they will e-mail a quote for us to authorise before the work. We strongly advise that you take out insurance for the powerchair to cover accidental damage, third party liability and theft.

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I have received funding from AFK for equipment before, can I reapply?

Yes – if it is more than three years since we last ordered equipment for this child or young person.

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Can I buy the mobility equipment I need and then you refund me afterwards?

No – like most charities, we do not fund equipment retrospectively.

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I am over 25, where can I apply for help with funding equipment?

AFK only funds equipment for children and young people up to age 25 and the application needs to be with us by their 25th birthday.  If you are over 25, you will need to go through your local Wheelchair Service. Even if they cannot provide the chair you feel you need, they might be able to give you a voucher or personal wheelchair budget to put towards it.

You can also apply to a number of charities that accept applications from over 25s: a list of other organisations that fund equipment can be downloaded here: Other organisations that fund Mobility Equipment.

 

 

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Once I apply, how long do I have in order to supply supporting documents?

We prefer applicants to send in the supporting letter from the OT or physiotherapist – as well as the equipment quote (s) – on the same day or within a few days of when they apply.

 

Sometimes we ask applicants to obtain an additional assessment and quote or a more specific supporting letter.  Also, if we are applying to other charities on an applicant’s behalf, those charities often ask for additional documentation such as evidence of PIP/DLA.

 

We can hold an application for a maximum of two months while an applicant or their family source the additional assessments/quotes and/or letters we need.

 

If AFK has funded a chair for a young person in the past, we can sometimes put a donation towards a new chair for the beneficiary, even if they are over age 25. This will depend on our fundraising and finances at the time of your application. You would need to submit a new application following the procedure as outlined on our website, indicating that you are over 25 and have had a chair from AFK in the past.

 

 

 

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Apply here

Our preference is for applicants to apply by completing and submitting the application sign up form here:

If you are struggling to complete the sign up form, please email us at [email protected] and include your phone number and we will email or phone you with advice.

Any more questions?

Contact our Mobility Services team

Image of Julia Paylor, our Advocacy and Mobility Manager

Julia Paylor

 

Julia is our Advocacy and Mobility Manager.

 

Email: [email protected]

 

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