To recruit & train an engineer to design custom made equipment for children, who will specialise in communicating with children with learning disabilities in order to design better equipment for them.
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Registered Charity in England and Wales (269804)
MERU designs & manufactures life changing equipment for 100 children a year, about 50% of whom also have learning disabilities. We have a 12 month waiting list, and the additional difficulty of communicating with children with a learning disability further complicates the design process. Therefore MERU needs an extra engineer with specialist training to help children when they have no other source of equipment. In particular we would want them to achieve NVQ Level 2 Certificate in Working with People who have learning disabilities, and the cost of this training is included in the overall budget. However it is our feeling that no training can replace direct experience and therefore we would also want the engineer to volunteer to help at a local club or group for children with learning disabilities, thus also forging links with the families of children with learning disabilities and the organisations which support them. We have received a pledge from the Baily Thomas Foundation for £35,000 to recruit an extra engineer to specialise in assessing the needs of children with learning disabilities. However, this would only fund the post for 1 year, whereas for financial sustainability and in order to attract high quality candidates we want to be able to offer the position as a 3 year contract so need an additional £74,000 over 2 years.
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