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.

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. 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.  

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

The next round for this grant has reopened.

Note: Applicant must be between the ages of 16-30. 

Please fill out the attached Application Form which also includes guidelines and send it electronically to office@ataxia.org.uk or in the post to our address at the bottom of the page. 

PLEASE NOTE THIS TRUST IS ONLY APPLICABLE FOR PEOPLE LIVING IN THE UK