Sally and Mari’s rowing progress

Sally and Mari’s rowing progress continues apace. You may remember a previous post (see link below) on the DBF Website following a visit by Keith Delderfield, his wife, Jess, and me to Marlow Rowing Club following the allocation of 2 Bader Grants.

Sally Hopewell had applied successfully to the DBF for a grant, on the advice of Mari, who had recently taken up rowing at the same club. Sally had discovered that she had an aptitude for the sport, and a big ambition (more of that to follow – no spoilers here!) and needed a boat of her own to take it further. She had identified a suitable second-hand skull for sale at a reasonable price and we were delighted to help her to buy it. Marlow Rowing Club, which has a wonderfully supportive para rowing group, applied separately for funds to buy another second hand skull which would enable Mari, who was showing huge promise in the sport as well, to row more regularly. Both boats would also be available to be used by their para rowing team, thereby giving more rowers and potential rowers with disabilities the chance to progress in the sport. Again, we were delighted to be able to support them.

The boats have been christened (with genuine bubbly!) “Spitfire” and “Lady B” in honour of Sir Douglas and Joan Bader.

Sally and Mari's rowing progress
Sally Hopewell and Wendy McCleave christen “Lady B” in a way she would have approved of!
Sally and Mari's rowing progress
Mari Durward Akhurst and Wendy McCleave christen Spitfire at Marlow Rowing Club








Sally and Mari’s rowing progress is largely due to commitment and very hard graft. Both have been practicing regularly and are going from strength, albeit with different aims in mind! Mari Durward Akhurst, a para dressage rider who originally took up rowing to increase her core strength to improve her riding, is already competing successfully in “Spitfire“.  Sally Hopewell has an exciting and ambitious goal to be revealed later (see – no spoilers!) and has formed a great partnership with “Lady B” in regular practice and strengthening sessions.

It is wonderful and means a lot to us when we get to see Bader Grants actually making a difference and this is definitely one of those times. Bader Grants Committee

We are excited to see what the future holds for this dedicated pair and have no doubt that Sally and Mari will continue to inspire with their progress. We are delighted to be a small part of that, and have no doubt that Sir Douglas and Joan Bader would be cheering them every watery inch of their respective journeys.

Sall and Mari's rowing progress

Links: (will open inner tabs)


Meet MANFIT – our new Bader Grant Recipient of the Month!

We’re delighted to introduce our new Bader Grant Recipient of the Month, MANFIT. (As you will probably have noticed, the “month” is rather an arbitrary period of time as far as the BGotM initiative is concerned…!) We thought that following our previous featured Bader Grant Recipients, inspiring individuals Mari Akhurst and Kim Jaeger (who were each awarded a Lady Bader Grant), it would be interesting to introduce one our our Group Recipients. Which better than this wonderfully pro-active amputee support organisation.

We’re very grateful to Margaret Tyson, the scheme founder and evaluator who initially brought MANFIT to our attention through the Bader Grant Scheme, for this great introductory article and photographs. It’s clear that the group have a lot of fun while benefitting from all that the various fitness sessions offer.

Margaret has promised to follow this article with stories from some of the members and we very much look forward to meeting them.

MANFIT is Manchester Amputee Fitness Initiative of which the gym sessions are funded by The Douglas Bader Foundation. We also run swimming and tennis sessions which are funded by Manchester Sport and Leisure Trust and Back to Sport. The project is evolving as we discover people’s wants and needs.


The launch of MANFIT took place at the Disablement Services Centre (DSC) (now Specialised Ability Centre (SAC) Sharston) Withington Hospital, Manchester on 26th October 2006 (over 10 years ago).

The inaugural meeting was attended by patients who had shown an interest in the project, the Manchester Prosthetic User Group, DSC staff, and physiotherapists from other clinics. It was reported in the Associate Parliamentary Limb Loss Group (APLLG) newsletter.

Margaret Tyson, with the support of The Manchester Prosthetic User Group (of which she was secretary), got together with Darren Birch (English Federation for Disability Sport), and Natalie Teniola (Manchester Cultural Learning Officer, Spaces for Sports and the Arts) and designed the fitness scheme.

Peter King (Chairman of the User Group) introduced speakers including Rob Arnold (Manchester Impact Fund), Paul Kelly (who has made a remarkable recovery from an accident) and Margaret Tyson (scheme founder and evaluator). Professor Jai Kulkarni (Senior Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine) also gave a few words of support.

Our aims, activities and exercise sessions

Our inclusion criterion is that new amputees have to have been approved to attend by the Specialised Ability Centre (SAC) physiotherapists (after rehabilitation after amputation). The age limit is over 18 years of age unless accompanied by an adult. Our aim is to give the participants confidence to get/keep fit and ultimately to integrate into mainstream sports centres but they can continue attend Manfit sessions if they want to. Confidence follows on from the strength, stamina and flexibility that lead to better operation of the prosthesis. The social interaction during exercise and after, during a free lunch after the gym sessions, together with exercise induced endorphin release also gives people confidence.

The gym sessions were the first sessions to commence after the inauguration of Manfit. The gym sessions are free and take place at The Manchester College (Openshaw Campus) fitness suite on Fridays 10.30-11.30am followed by a free lunch. We are very grateful to The Douglas Bader Foundation who are funding the sessions.

Six months after the gym sessions started a weekly exclusive swimming group started at Manchester Aquatics Centre (MAC) on Mondays from 1.15 – 2.15pm in a private pool usually used by athletes.

One of the newer sessions is a weekly wheelchair and amputee tennis session which takes place at the regional tennis centre near the Etihad stadium, Manchester from 11.00-12.00 every Wednesday.

We can take part in a monthly disability cycling session which runs at Tameside circuit 1.00-12.30 on Saturdays.

For people who are interested in joining or for more information please contact:  website: or Phone Margaret Tyson on 07776 181180

Manfit Users’ Individual Stories: (These will be added as we receive them and also appear as individual posts.)

  1. Ron’s Story 
  2. Gym Trainer, Bill’s story

The Bader Grant Scheme: To find out more about the Bader Grant Scheme, please click on the link to visit the page on our Website. Clicking on the News link on the green Bader Grants banner in that section will also take you to various news stories and articles from our previous recipients.































































We can take part in a monthly disability cycling session which runs at Tameside circuit 1.00-12.30 on Saturdays.

















For people who are interested in joining or for more information please contact:  website: or Phone Margaret Tyson on 07776 181180

OHMI Douglas Bader Grant Update – Hemihelp Fun Day

Bader Grant Recipient, OHMI (The One-Handed Musical Instrument Trust) has sent us this update. This fantastic organisation is going from strength to strength and the Douglas Bader Foundation is proud and delighted to be able to support them.


Douglas Bader Grant Update – Hemihelp Fun Day

On Sunday 4th September, The OHMI Trust team and brass teachers from Birmingham Music Service andohmi-1r Surrey Arts attended the Hemihelp 20th Anniversary Fun day in Frensham to provide interactive instrument workshops for children with disabilities.

Over the course of the day, 38 children and their families took part in workshops on either adapted brass or adapted recorders. Each workshop was attended by both children with hemiplegia and their families. This created opportunities for families to experience playing an adapted musical instrument, and raise awareness directly with families affected by disability about the option of music as a hobby or even more.

ohmi-2lWe send our particular thanks to the Douglas Bader Grant Scheme for their generous donation which allowed the first of these workshops to take place. With the support from the Douglas Bader Grant Scheme, we have purchased 10 stands and brackets to be fitted to previously donated brass instruments. These instruments can be used in our upcoming conferences around the country, allowing us to reach many more families across the UK.

Because of this donation, we were able to offer families the chance to try out not only a trumpet, but cornet, flugelhorn, tenor horn and trombone, all with stands and brackets fitted in order to make them fully accessible for those with an upper limb disability.

It is testament to the need for these kind of access days that 3 of the students who took part in a workshop on the 4th of September expressed an interest in, and are now signed up to take part in The OHMI Teaching Pilot in Surrey, launching in a couple of weeks. Without these experience opportunities, many families would not know that there are musical instruments out there to try.


Several of the families who took part in workshops – in particular the recorder workshops, had children who were still very young, so would not be suitable for the current OHMI Teaching Pilot. However, 2 families have signed up to the OHMI recorder loan scheme, and others now know they have the option to contact The Trust again when their child is of a more suitable age to learn an instrument.


The OHMI Trust has another workshop booked in October in partnership with REACH in Glasgow, where more music workshops will be available for families attending the conference.

(Click HERE to download a copy of the original article above. It will open as a pdf in a new tab and can be kept for your records.)

To find out more about The OHMI Trust and to get details about the workshop in Glasgow in October, please go to the OHMI Website or visit the previous DBF Post where you will find information and contact details.



2015 OHMI Competiton

OHMI instrument banner

2014 Bader Grant recipient, OHMI (The One-Handed Musical Instrument Trust) is holding a competition challenging people to create an instrument that can be played without the use of one hand and arm. The deadline for this challenge is 30th June 2015 so you need to get your designs in fast for a chance of winning a prestigious award from this wonderful and very worthy organisation.

The 2015 OHMI Competition

Entrants to the One-Handed Musical Instrument Competition are challenged to develop musical instruments that can be played without the use of one hand and arm. It can be an adaptation of an existing instrument or a new design that is capable of emulating a traditional instrument. See below for details on the awards and the rules.

The final date for accepting entries is June 30th 2015. Judging by an independent panel will take place a few weeks thereafter. We are still working on plans for the awards ceremony, but will post details as soon as they are fixed.

Enquiries, in the first instance, should be sent to us using the contact page or by calling us on 07849 726309.

Entries can be made in any format just as long as they provide a full technical and musical explanation of the instrument. Email entries can be sent to rachel at OHMI dot org dot uk (sorry for spelling it out, but this helps avoid the spammers). Postal entries can be sent to The OHMI Trust, Tyndallwoods Solicitors, 29 Woodbourne Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B17 8BY.


OHMI Competition notification

(Please note that the links above won’t work – you’ll have to copy and paste them)


There are three prize categories for competition instruments:

PLAYABLE – For instruments capable of performance without further development. Adaptations must have all the capabilities of the original instrument. Where an entry uses new technology, perhaps electronics, it must closely copy the musical characteristics of the instrument it is emulating.
CONCEPT – For the most technically promising solution(s) to the challenge. Entries may be made in any form – paper, video, drawings, etc., just as long as they explain and describe the concept in detail to the competition judges. Several past entries have been projects in development – playable, but not yet to the high standard required.
ENABLING – For apparatus (straps, stands, harnesses etc.) that make a traditional instrument accessible for one-handed playing.

Qualifying Instruments:
The instrument adapted or emulated must meet these qualifying conditions:

i. The instrument is, or was once, commonly found in a musical ensemble (examples are orchestras, jazz bands, folk groups, or rock groups).
ii. The instrument does not already use any electronic devices. For example, an electric organ would not qualify.
For the benefit of clarity, competition instruments can use electronics or any other technology. It is the original instrument being adapted or emulated that cannot be electronic.

The Competition Rules
1. The competition instrument must be a “qualifying instrument” (see above).
2. The competition instrument must be capable of being performed by one person without the use of one hand and arm in any capacity.
3. The competition instrument must be portable by one person unaided, excluding any loud-speaker systems. If loud-speakers are used they must not contain any special elements or circuitry that are an important part in the instrument design itself (other than for sound output).
4. As part of the judging for the Playable category, a performance may be required. The performers of the instruments need not be the competition participants. The competitors may elect the performer of their own choice.
5. Neither the competition organisers (The OHMI Trust) nor any of the judges are permitted to take a legal interest in any copyrights, intellectual properties or manufacturing rights in the instruments. All rights will remain with the creators.
6. Competitors agree to licence to the competition organisers at no cost all copyrights and performance rights in any recordings of the competition auditions and performances that the organisers may make.

Although not a rule or competition requirement, the competition organisers wish to encourage all competitors to make their work “open-system”.

DBF Support KartForce with BADER GRANT

KartForce logo screenshot

The Douglas Bader Foundation is delighted to have been able to support KartForce (Kart Racing for Injured Troops) through its Bader Grants Scheme. You can read more about the contribution below:

We’re very proud to SHOUT out LOUD that the hand control’s we designed with OMS are RADICAL!
The hand controls met the Jaguar… and they fit like a glove!
The Online Motorsport Solutions technicians have taken the steering wheel and paddles away to get it all married up connected.
The “box of tricks” will then be fitted in the car and connected to the brakes, throttle, gear shifter, etc.

Next Stage – road test and get the hand controls inspected by the MSA.
These hand controls are the most advanced hand controls in existence – there are no other hand controls like them.
We’ll be able to fit them to any race car that has a sequential gear box which means, for the first time, hand controls can be fitted to any race car and removed after.
The lads can therefore race in almost any car, as solo racing drivers or as a team.
The road test can’t happen soon enough!
All this has only been made possible by the amazing support and grant given to us by The Douglas Bader Foundation – a WWII double amputee hero making it happen for another generation of amputee heroes.


KartForce do a fantastic job and we are proud to be associated with them. Please visit their Website to learn more about them and what they do.