Bromley Disability Trust closing down
THE Bromley Disability Trust (BDT), which has supported disabled people in the borough of Bromley for the last 20 years, has closed down.
The trust was set up in 1992 by the Bromley Association of People with Disabilities (BATH) with a generous monetary donation that was made to the charity in the will of Miss Doris Callow.
That money has now run out, and BDT has been unable to secure funding from elsewhere, meaning it has had to close.
Over the years the trust was able to help countless people with disabilities - individuals and groups of all ages.
Among those is Patrick Barrett, 50, from Keston.
Mr Barrett is tetraplegic and the trust has helped him a number of times, supplying him with parts for his wheelchair and buying him an E-book reader.
He said: "A lot of charities are very restricting.
"Some will only help people of a certain age, some will only help people of a certain disability.
"They helped everyone and they are going to be really missed - it made a real difference to know they were there to help."
Laura Mitchell, 27, from Chislehurst, suffers from Down Syndrome and has competed in two Special Olympics events with the help of grants from the Bromley Disability Trust.
She swims for the Special Olympics Orpington Sharks, and represented Great Britain in the Special Olympics European Youth Games in Rome in 2006 and the Special Olympics World Games in Athens in 2011.
She won a gold medal in the 100 meter freestyle in 2006 and a silver in the 4x50 meter freestyle relay in 2011.
Her mother, Ruth Mitchell, 61, said: "It's very sad that they have to close.
"It's very expensive to go to these events and Laura doesn't have any income of her own.
"With their help we were able to pay for her to go and for family members to go to support her.
The decision to close the trust came on December 5 2012.