Herts charity of the month: Douglas Bader Foundation
PUBLISHED: 10:28 04 February 2016
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The second in our new series highlighting smaller Herts charities and not-for-profits who rely on your support looks at the remarkable Douglas Bader Foundation based in Tring
There are some people you meet in life who inspire everyone around them. One of these rarities was Sir Douglas Bader.
Born in 1910, he became a war hero and a legend during his own lifetime. He joined the RAF at just 18 and quickly became recognised as a flying ace. But three years later while performing acrobatics he suffered a near-fatal crash, which left him a double leg amputee.
Rather than giving up, he became the inspiration for many by demonstrating an ability to get on with his life. Returning to the RAF at the outbreak of the Second World War, he fought in the Battle of France and Battle of Britain before his capture in German-occupied France and imprisonment at Colditz. He summed up his philosophy by saying, ‘To my way of thinking, a disabled man who has achieved independence is no longer disabled.’
After the war, he had a successful career in the oil industry and campaigned for disabled people, work which was recognised with a knighthood in the Queen’s Honours of 1976.
Following his death in 1982, family and friends set up the Douglas Bader Foundation to honour his memory and carry on his work. The foundation supports children and adults who are born without of who have lost one or more limbs or are otherwise physically disabled. Its aim is to help to advance and promote their physical, mental and spiritual welfare.
The charity offers support in several ways: advice via its BILL (Bader Info on Limb Loss) service, which includes a forum with access to those with first-hand knowledge of living with limb loss who are able to give advice, guidance and information based on their own experiences; the Bader Braves Young Aviators initiative, which aims to boost the confidence of children affected by limb loss and other disabilities by providing them with flying experience in a light aircraft; and practical support via Bader Grants to provide support to individuals so they can achieve more in life, such as a grant towards purchasing equipment, cover training or further education costs.
If you would like to support the foundation’s work, it is in need of people who can help with office administration and organise events and activities.
For Bader Braves Young Aviators , call 01442 826662 and for all other information call 020 8748 8884. To keep up to date with the work, subscribe to the foundation newsletter or follow the group on Facebook. Further information can be found at douglasbaderfoundation.com