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The power of legacy

Ever wondered what a legacy can achieve? Well in 2016-17, Livability received over £1.7 million from supporters who chose to include a gift in their Will to the charity. These precious gifts have a huge impact on the lives of disabled and vulnerable people – both now and long into the future.

Livability supporter, Julia Brooker, told us about what inspired her to leave a gift in her Will to Livability.

Julia Brooker became a dedicated supporter of Livability after she experienced first-hand the difference that specialised equipment and respite care can make to disabled people and their families. As a passionate advocate for inclusive churches and communities, Mrs Brooker decided to leave a gift to Livability in her Will.

“I’m a retired Occupational Therapist and I’ve worked with disabled people and their carers for many years. Several years ago, my husband and I were thinking about making new Wills. We felt so blessed with five healthy children and wanted to give back.

I know personally how much special places and equipment can mean to disabled people and their families and carers. Not only in specialist centres, but also in the home. Just the smallest piece of equipment which can enable a child to feed themselves when they are hungry instead of that food being spooned can make a tremendous difference to quality of life.”

Having seen the impact of disability on families for many years, Julia cares deeply about including disabled people in their community. Recently she and her husband visited Livability’s Holton Lee – a wellbeing discovery centre in Dorset – where they saw personally the difference that a gift to our work can make.

“Visiting Livability Holton Lee was amazing. It was totally focused on need, and on developing the skills of people attending. They made sure that people could enjoy friendships, self-confidence, increasing their wellbeing… it just catered for everybody. It made a huge impression on us. The whole ethos of Livability is about enabling people to be included in society – and that aligns itself with our ethos. We are ‘people’ people, we want everyone to be included.”

Making sure people are included has always been a part of Julia’s life, and she still makes an effort to catch up with the parents and families she worked alongside throughout her career. Speaking about her connection to the Livability ethos, Julia said, ‘Livability is a good match for us. People need to be included. It’s not frightening. Let’s include them and give them a seat beside us. Showing by example is tremendously important. You include them you visit people, you take them out for a meal. Include them in your family. It doesn’t cost the earth.’

Julia hopes that her gift will enable the inclusive nature of Livability’s work to continue well into the future and that the emphasis on wellbeing will continue to help people through her gift, ‘To have respite is so important. It’s important for the person concerned to get the support they need, but also so necessary for carers. Respite means that freshness is bought to a relationship which is stressed. I would like that ethos to continue through our gift.’

And her message to others considering leaving a gift? “Just do it. Get involved!”

To find out more about how you can support Livability through legacies, visit here.

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