Even though I could do much of the electrical work, remodelling our home so our family could care for our seriously ill baby would not have been possible without the EIC. Under the Practical Participation Programme CEF provided over £7 000 of materials. 

The Electrical Industries Charity, in partnership with City Electrical Factors (CEF), has made a difference in Holly Hatherall’s life by giving her independence and enabling the whole family to look forward to a brighter future.

Holly Hatherall is an eight-year-old girl who suffers from a Basal Ganglia damage due to a crisis at a very early stage in her life. This led to Dystonia in all her limbs – a condition which has prevented her body from functioning effectively.

This young girl is unable to sit, stand, walk or talk and the only way for her to get around is by using a wheelchair at all times. Holly is a bright little girl who learnt to read at a very young age, and she uses a Tobi Eye-Gaze computer to communicate with people around her.

Holly lives in Stroud, Gloucestershire, with her mum and dad (Jemma and Neil) and little brother Billy who turned two in October. In 2012, the family were forced to move home to give Holly a better quality of life. Their former home had no way of meeting Holly's long term needs and it was becoming increasingly difficult and unsafe for Jemma to carry her up and down the stairs. They acquired planning permission for their new home to build an extension for a wet room and downstairs bedroom and to make the house more accessible.

Holly’s parents applied for a Disable Facilities Grant, to help fund an extension that would make life easier for Holly and the whole family. Jemma and Neil were successful and received the maximum £30,000 grant, however, this sum did not cover the full extension cost of £58,000. With £28,000, shortfall Jemma contacted the Electrical Industries Charity for financial support.

The Electrical Industries Charity recognised how important the building extension was for the whole family, and especially for Holly and offered the Hatherall family an extraordinary grant of £27,000. R L Glass Pool Charity Trust donated the remaining £1,000.

Holly’s dad Neil has been an electrician since leaving school and has completed the full electrical installation and plumbing in Holly’s room extension himself to reduce the cost as much as possible. To help Neil, City Electrical Factors (CEF) donated over £7,000 worth of tools needed for this project.

The donations from the Electrical Industries Charity and City Electrical Factors (CEF) have made Holly’s life much easier by giving her a room that fits her needs and allows her to have independence in her life.

Holly is now able to turn on her lights with a swipe of her hand. She can now shower and do her bedtime routine much easier without her mum and dad having to hold her between them, and she can open her door and go straight outside with no temporary ramps getting in the way.

Neil and Jemma have had a weight lifted off their shoulders, and they can now enjoy Holly’s company and interact with her without the burden of having to worry about carpets or carrying Holly up or down the stairs.