Headshot of Jane Hewitt

Jane Hewitt

Jane Hewitt is a co-Founder and Trustee of LimbBo Foundation. She has been nominated by IWC member, Elizabeth Wright. Liz says “Jane is a former teacher, photographer, fundraiser, and most importantly, the grandma of Tommy Dengel, a little boy who was born with limb difference.

The reason her being a grandma to Tommy is most important is because Tommy inspired Jane and her family to start the LimbBo Foundation, a charity that uses 3-dimensional printing to create prosthetic arms for children.

LimbBo aims to research and prototype new ideas to create working assistive devices that can improve the ability of limb different children to undertake tasks that may have previously been difficult. It also supplies informative leaflets aimed at expectant parents of limb difference children, and brings limb difference children together in one place for fun activities. Jane is a Trustee and cheerleader, helping to make the Foundation a global success.”

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Who has she helped/who will she help?

“The LimbBo Foundation supports children born with upper limb difference, providing them with 3d prosthetic arms that are fun, bright and joyful – think an Ironman arm or a bright pink princess arm. Whatever kind of arm the child wants, the LimbBo team will try and make it.

They also provide simple 3d printed bike adaptations which allow children to ride their bikes. They have helped build the confidence and imaginations of children all over the world, from the UK to the US.”

What’s worked?

“Jane, as a Trustee, has used her connections to build the profile of LimbBo and support the development of community days and events, bringing children with limb difference from all over the UK together. Community and representation are important, and LimbBo has become a focal point for the limb different community and their families.”

What has she learned? Any challenges?

Jane says “I’ve learned that one of the biggest issues surrounding a family who have a limb different child is often the sense of isolation, the fear about the future and having no one to turn to. By setting up LimbBo and showing photos of all our amazing children, as well as putting parents (and expectant parents) in touch with one another, that fear is eased. The joy of children and families meeting one another is not something you can put into words.”

What’s next?

“We are planning our biggest meet up so far next Summer, a residential for families with lots of outdoor activities.

Our Christmas ‘smile bags’ are a work in progress. We can’t have a party this year so this is our way of keeping in touch – hopefully, a huge collage of photos for bedroom walls to remind our children they aren’t on their own.”

What advice, contacts, or resources would help her?

“We felt that medical and professional advice just wasn’t readily available so to be able to work with some medical professionals to create a leaflet full of beaming, happy kids who just happen to have a limb difference that can be in every hospital would be amazing.”

Why we’re sharing these stories

Each year, an individual or organisation from each of our five categories plus one exceptional judges’ choice individual is recognised at our annual Igniting Inspiration celebration event.

We publish each and every nomination to raise awareness of all the positive work that goes on in the North. While, this year, our physical event had to be deferred, our campaign to spread stories of positive social impact continues – good news is needed!