Student Placement: Engineering for children with disabilities

We are seeking your support towards a design and engineering university student placement here in our workshops to help maximise the support MERU can give to children and young people with disabilities. “I feel I have gained a greater understanding of design with getting involved in what the child needs.” Laurent Peters, a 21 year old student, has been working at MERU since September 2006. When asked what was the best thing about working at MERU, Laurent replied “Making controls for a low profile joystick, it’s so much more comfortable for a child to use.” Laurent has been working closely with our staff and volunteers combining new techniques taught at university with tried and tested methods advocated by our staff and volunteers.

history Campaign has now closed

It ran from 5:50 PM, 8 November 2008 to 5:50 PM, 8 November 2008

Registered Charity in England and Wales (269804)




  • Education/Training/EmploymentEducation/Training/Employment
  • Health/WellbeingHealth/Wellbeing
  • OtherOther


  • Children (3-18)Children (3-18)
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)



MERU is a fusion of 9 highly skilled retired craftsmen who volunteer for us, the young engineering students who bring knowledge of new technologies, energy and enthusiasm, and our experienced and skilled specialist staff. The workshop culture is of creativity and flair to produce safe, colourful, flexible and durable innovative products that transform a child’s lifestyle. All of our products are designed and manufactured in our workshops. By training volunteers from the community and the engineering students, the workshop is as cost effective as possible, and won the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award for Volunteers. We make a huge range of different items for our young clients, including special seating, ergonomic desks, communication and computer access devices, learning and leisure toys and mobility aids - all kinds of equipment that helps young people to be more independent. This independence gives them greater dignity and a better quality of life and helps them access life opportunities that able-bodied youngsters take for granted. We also provide items that parents and carers can use in meeting the children’s daily needs. The items that we make can be life changing, not only for the child, but also for the family, friends and carers. PLACEMENT PROGRAMME OUTCOMES •Students gain high quality training and mentoring and improve their skills for their degree and the workplace •Students gain comprehensive experience and direct exposure to clients and the service users •Students gain experience in disability aware design and engineering •MERU gains the vibrancy and energy that young people bring to the workplace •MERU gains the up to date knowledge the students bring from university •Student placements are a cost effective resource for MERU, and enables us to make some inroads into our waiting lists •Over the last 11 years, we have recruited four students to become staff •The disabled children and young people gain from the mix of traditional craftsmen, experience and new thinking of our students, volunteers and staff to produce the best possible technical and aesthetic result for their individual needs. COST to MERU = £10,000 per year