Jonathan Taylor is Divisional Director at Investec Wealth & Investment Limited – the international banking and wealth management company. Jonathan was introduced to the work of Skiggle by Hugh Jones and thought the concept of the charity and the services provided were an excellent idea. He tells us more below:

“It’s unique. It’s an ingenious way of applying modern technology to what is essentially a simple human problem of forgetting or running out of something. But you can’t walk into your local supermarket to buy this stuff, so Skiggle provides a well-engineered solution to a problem that is unique to the millions of people who find themselves in the same – or similar situation to Christine and James.

“The way I always position it to people is to think of yourself being on holiday and you’ve forgotten a catheter… or a pack of male nappies. If you know about Skiggle, you could, in a very short space of time, find out there’s a person half a mile away with a garage full of exactly what you need and will happily let you have some of it. Worry over, stress over.

“For families of disabled children or carers of adults with disabilities, situations such as going on holiday become much more difficult. I could go away and maybe forget my camera. Yes, it’s disappointing, but it’s not the end of my holiday. If Christine or other families forget a piece of disability equipment, it’s the end of their holiday.

“There are quite a lot of charities in the disabled world and frankly some very well-funded ones. That’s why I’m even more keen to support Skiggle. Christine and Helen have managed to create something quite special in their spare time with just a handful of volunteers supporting them. I really like what they are doing, so it makes me proud for Investec to support this charity.”

Kendal-based People Junction specialises in providing HR, People and Business Support to small and medium-sized organisations. Founder Cath Dutton has been supporting Skiggle since 2016:

“Small charities like Skiggle who provide such unique and vital services are the ones who really need as much support as possible; whether that’s through one-off donations, taking part in fundraising activities or helping with pro bono work.

“When we were first introduced to Skiggle, we really bought into the whole concept and could instantly see how valuable its services could be, particularly among many of our contacts in the hospitality and tourism industry. We want to educate the industry about Skiggle as this little charity could quite honestly be the difference between the making and the breaking of a holiday as it can signpost people in the right direction for help and support when they are away from their more familiar surroundings.

“With many years’ experience of disability in our family, Skiggle is also a charity dear to our hearts as we’ve seen first-hand how the SOS alert service can save the day. And to a greater extent, just having knowledge the charity exists and what it does, can give disabled people and their families peace of mind, reassurance, and confidence to be able to live their lives the way we all want, and deserve to be able to.

“We’re in the fortunate position where we can really understand the issues faced on a daily - actually hourly basis, by people with disabilities and their families, friends, and carers.

“We get it.

“We’ve seen it.

“The impact these issues can then have on their lives, and health and wellbeing can be distressing for everyone involved. Take the issue of nationwide shortages of disability products and equipment as one example. Society at large may not be quite as aware of how these shortages can cause problems, but we understand the extra level and degree of special needs that people who need that equipment have. Without some equipment it literally can be life and death. It’s not a given that the NHS is able to supply it all – far from it – but the Skiggle marketplace or SOS alert service could be a lifesaver.

“It’s for this reason, we will never just ‘step in, help out, and walk away.’ People Junction’s involvement with Skiggle is a long-term partnership where we’re committed to doing whatever we can to encourage the continued growth of the charity. Whether that’s through community fundraising efforts or being there to provide voluntary ongoing business support and advice.

“Skiggle is a small charity that really has the potential and drive to punch above its weight and we’re privileged to play our part in making that happen.”

Manchester-based Hugh Jones Solicitors is the largest firm of independent Court of Protection solicitors in the country. They have been supporters & advocates of Skiggle since it became a registered charity in 2019. Founder, Hugh Jones explains what the charity means to him and his team.

“As a specialist Court of Protection firm, we’re dedicated to supporting society’s most vulnerable, particularly those with a mental incapacity, their families and their advisers. When working with vulnerable people, it is vital to operate with a focus on dignity and respect and this is a value which totally aligns with Skiggle.

“Like us, the charity seeks to empower and support disabled individuals and it’s always encouraging and inspiring to encounter likeminded organisations. We respond to charities like Skiggle because we totally understand the issues their network is faced with. It’s more than just a charity we like to support – it has relevance to our firm and it’s an honour to work with such a passionate team. We’re proud that our expertise can help give something back to those in need.”

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