The Mark Dower Trust is a financial grant that aims to support young people with ataxia who are seeking independence, through further studies, employment, specialist equipment or hobbies/ skills.

About Mark Dower

The Mark Dower Trust was recently set up in memory of Mark, who sadly passed away in 2003, aged 41. Mark had FA and was fiercely independent and driven, truly living his life to the full. Though he loved his family and his home he wanted the same autonomy which other young people yearn for; the ability to make his own choices and to have his own space. The Mark Dower Trust aims to help similarly independent young people who have been diagnosed with ataxia to develop and enjoy hobbies and activities or to enhance their skills through further education.

Mark enjoyed painting and drawing as well as writing poetry. At the age of 19, he heard about an opportunity to live in a house away from home and to attend college with other creative young people. He set about getting involved. When the local authority rejected his application for funding, Mark responded by conducting a 'sit-in' at the council offices, staying put all day until the officers agreed to review their decision. He won his fight and spent an incredible few years making life-long friendships, writing a book of poetry as well as beginning his autobiography. Whilst there, he learnt new painting techniques and held several exhibitions, selling his work to the public.

About the Mark Dower Trust

Inspired by Mark's independent spirit and appetite to try new things, The Mark Dower Trust offers a small annual grant of up to £3,000 to share among each year's awardees. The aim is to support young people by enabling them to pursue skills, hobbies or further educational opportunities and hence allow them to maximise their independence.

Applications for 2019 are open now until 31 January 2020. Successful applicants will hear back by the end of February.

Note: Applicant must be between the ages of 16-30, have ataxia and reside in the UK.

Please fill out the attached Application Form which also includes guidelines and send it electronically to [email protected] or in the post to our address at the bottom of the page. 

Take a look at the dedicated Mark Dower Trust Website for further details

Top tips for a good application

  • Be clear what you want to use the grant for. For example, if you want to purchase equipment then give the website link and state why the particular model or choice is best for your needs. 
  • If you want to use the grant to pay towards training or fees for a course then be clear which course/when/where and what the costs are. 
  • If you are able to contribute part of the cost of the item yourself through money you have obtained through other sources (fundraising etc) then explain this.
  • Explain how the grant will benefit you; what will you learn and how will this help you?
  • Demonstrate your passion and commitment to the area of interest; what have you already achieved that is relevant? How long have you been involved and how much of your time do you commit to it?