Karen Deacon, QEF's chief executive, explains why she's chosen to leave QEF a gift in her will.
My first contact with QEF was through my father who had mobility issues after his spine collapsed and then acquired a brain injury after sepsis. Initially he needed his car adapted for hand controls, so we went to QEF Mobility Services. This allowed dad to continue driving for another 2 years which gave him his independence – the biggest gift ever. This was a big part of what attracted me to work at QEF.
Dad’s health and mobility fluctuates lot and he tends to focus on the things he can’t do. With support from QEF through trying, hiring and purchasing different equipment to match his needs, we are able to help him do more than he thinks he can. An excellent example was getting my dad to my daughter’s wedding. Dad wanted to be the ring bearer - with my daughter’s dog on the scooter too! We hired a scooter from QEF, which we decorated with ribbons and he delivered the wedding rings. Also, my brother has a boat and he really wanted dad to see it, but it’s in France. So I spoke to Graham Race, our accessible travel expert. We developed a plan and worked out what equipment we could take, the manual handling issues to get dad onto the boat and other such details. And we did it! My dad saw my brother’s boat and the family joined him. We have a lovely photo of my mum and dad snoozing on the boat as a result, that we will always treasure. These are special memories that QEF has helped us create and they will stay with us forever - QEF has helped to keep our family connected.
So, in a very small way of saying thank you, I have decided that I am going to leave a gift in my will to QEF so that other people will be able to create their own special memories. As chief executive I see this every day at QEF. I could tell you hundreds of stories of how we’ve made a difference to peoples’ lives. With our new Care and Rehabilitation Centre we are trying to make bigger, more systematic changes. We’re investing in our expert services that will enable people to maximise their independence. Gifts in wills are so important to QEF; they help to care and support people living with disabilities now and in the future. Please join me in leaving a gift in your will to QEF – they really are the gifts that keep on giving.
For advice on how you can include us in your will, please click here