A STOURBRIDGE charity which helps children with physical disabilities has celebrated a major funding milestone thanks to the generosity of a local wire manufacturer.

The Chris Westwood Charity for Children with Physical Disabilities, which helps to buy mobility, sensory and vision equipment for children within a 50-mile radius of Stourbridge, has become the latest beneficiary of Alloy Wire International’s ‘Wired for Good’ campaign.

A £7,500 donation has taken the organisation’s total fundraising to more than £1million since it was started by Chris Westwood 18 years ago, with all the proceeds going towards supporting 850 young people to live more independent lives.

The AWI money has already been allocated to four recipients, who will receive life-changing special car seats and exercise trikes to help them in overcoming transportation issues and in building strength and stamina.

Mark Venables, managing director of Brierley Hill based Alloy Wire International, said: “As part of our 75th birthday celebrations we wanted to create a positive legacy for the big milestone, so committed to becoming carbon neutral and agreed to donate to four local charities.

“We had supported the Chris Westwood Charity for Children with Physical Disabilities in 2018 and were really impressed with the fact that every penny donated goes towards the individuals who need it most.

“The grants are quickly reviewed, and the money given direct to suppliers to help parents purchase vital equipment that will help their children live as independent a life as possible. It’s even better news that our donation was the one that took Chris and the trustees past the magical £1m mark, a truly fantastic achievement.”

Like many charities, The Chris Westwood Charity has endured a tough 18 months due to the pandemic, with many fundraising events being cancelled and day-to-day assessments delayed due to the risk of Covid-19 transmission.

Despite the restrictions, the organisation has managed to catch-up with all the applications and is still on course to award £100,000 of grants this year to aid mobility or provide comfort for those with severe life-limiting conditions.

Chris Westwood, who has pledged to leave his own estate to the charity, said: “Typically, we fund anything from walkers, standing frames and specialist car seats to exercise trikes, hoists, sensory equipment and vision aids.

“These are all things the NHS doesn’t always fund or only funds part of, leaving children unable to take part in day-to-day life or get the care they really need. Speed is key too, with quick decisions made on the grants we give to ensure the child has the best possible chance of making a recovery or to prevent their condition from worsening.

“Support from companies like Alloy Wire International is crucial, especially following the pandemic and we’re delighted a Black Country firm’s contribution has taken us past £1m raised since 2003.

“The next target is to raise another £1m and continue our work in helping children with physical disabilities.”

Alloy Wire International, which manufactures round, flat and profile wire, was founded in 1946 by John Stockdale in an old ambulance station in Old Hill.

The company’s principles of ‘manufacturing quality, delivering reliability’ have stood the test of time and remain a crucial part of how it deals with its global client base in the automotive, aerospace, medical, nuclear, oil and gas industries.

For more information about the charity visit chriswestwoodcharity.co.uk