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Over the last couple of years at Potter Rees Dolan, we have been running an ongoing Featured Charity campaign on our blog to help raise awareness of some of the ground-breaking and life-changing work being done by local North West charities to improve the lives of vulnerable people.
This month, we are shining a spotlight on ACSIL - Amputees and Carers Support in Liverpool, a charity set up to help and support amputees across Liverpool and Merseyside.
ACSIL was formed following founder member Reza Mirdamadi's speech "Amputation - The patient's perspective" at the Pathways of Care symposium in May 2005. The charity says it was this speech and his tenacious spirit that provided the driving force in establishing ACSIL.
With the help of Babs Gwynne, Coral Williams, Pat Carter and other members of staff at the Royal Liverpool Hospital Vascular Ward, a meeting of 15 amputees and their carers met in the gym at the Royal and so ACSIL was formed. In December 2010 ACSIL became a registered charity, and the following year the charity was awarded the Liverpool Knight of Honour award for the best Community Group.
Supporting amputees and carers
Ran by chairman Bobby Hodgson and his team of volunteers, ACSIL’s aim is to help as many amputees and carers as possible by offering support, advice and social contact through their Help & Advice Centre at The Breckfeild Centre, Liverpool.
The charity provides a voluntary service throughout Merseyside, acting as a resource of advice and information - gained from first-hand experience - in support of those who have been affected by amputation.
"We do a lot to improve life for amputees and their carers!
"Why am I chairman of ACSIL? I do it for the love of the club and the members. I am honoured to serve on the committee as an active and productive member, I regard members and carers as family, and I try to help people as much as I can aided by my lovely wife Pat."
– Bobby Hodgson
ACSIL now boasts over 180 members – a number that is growing weekly. Their membership is diverse and interesting, ranging from a young ex-navy amputee to a 92-year-old ex-army veteran of WW2. The organisation caters for both men and women of all ages, who have had single or multiple amputations and also those who are in the process of becoming an amputee.
Meet the team
Read on for more information about the fantastic volunteers who give their time freely to keep ACSIL going…
Ronnie Jones: Ronnie is ACSIL’s Concert Secretary and is responsible for organising events and trips. He is on the charity’s committee and has given his time for over three years.
Peter Walthew: Peter is Treasurer at ACSIL and handles all the finances of the group. A workaholic, his input into the charity is incalculable. His wife Theresa gives him a lot of support and is also an active member.
Diane Winterson: Diane is the charity’s fundraiser and is also active in making sure the group's finances are always healthy. Her husband Robbie helps her and as a team they are unbeatable!
Carla Dodd: is Assistant Secretary, as well as ACIL’s photographer. She has been involved helping in the office and taking photographs of our trips for over four years.
Ken Roberts: Ken is a much-respected lay member of the charity. He helps deliver ACSIL’s newsletter to hospitals and is always around to lend his support when needed.
Teresa Walthew: Theresa is the Carer's Representative for the group and is active in helping carers cope with the difficulties that come with caring for an amputee.
Phil Grace: is ACSIL’s Sports Coordinator, organizing any sporting activities for the group. Phil is also on the England Amputee senior team.
Barbara Hill: another lay member of the group, Barbara assists with fundraising and group meetings. She has been a member of ACSIL for over nine years and is a very much respected within the charity.
Richard Edwards: Richard is ACSIL’s Secretary and provides “sterling work” for the charity, on top of his full time job as a Partner and amputee claim specialist within the Personal Injury team here at Potter Rees Dolan.
Volunteer with ACSIL
ACSIL welcome new volunteers, especially within the charity’s Help Centre. Here, volunteers can help with administration tasks and the general day to day running of the office – tasks which are vital to ACSIL’s continued support of amputees and their carers. Contact the office on 0151 261 1166 for more details, to donate or to sign up as a volunteer. Alternatively, fill out a contact form via the charity’s website here.