“In April alone, we were able to provide remote fittings for 31 users with limb difference, despite the lockdown“
During Limb Loss Awareness Month, in partnership with Reach and LimbBo, we launched project LiMITTless – a pilot project that aims to make a prosthetic accessible to every child in the UK who needs one – and soon, every adult too!” writes Nate Macabuag, founder of Mitt Wearables.
In January I had talked to Debs and Kate (who work for Reach) and said we had money to cover Mitts for some children as we had received money from charitable donors. They would get a dedicated Mitt made and tools they could swap and upgrade for a year. We would just post them!
In April alone, we were able to provide remote fittings for 31 users with limb difference, despite the lockdown – accepting limb measurements online, manufacturing each sleeve bespoke to the wearer and shipping them out by post.
This meant that we reached our 100th person fitted with a Mitt within eight months. Our aim is to do 2,000 children in the UK at a cost of less than £1,000 a year. We did two arms and four or five tools per Reach child at a budget of £800 per child. We want to make it free for people at the point of service.
We provide a surrounding service which is important. We support people with a bespoke service and people are much more comfortable with that. We respond to their feedback. We discovered kids love a pure white Mitt sleeve that we provide with washable marker pens. They can decorate the sleeve and it will wash off and they can draw something else. We are hoping to run a design competition for them.
“We are learning that a full prosthetic is not a necessity and we focus on making things that are really useful and enjoyable to use. We are also making a new sleeve for newborns, just for them to get used the putting things on their little arm.”
Moving forward, we plan to accelerate access to a couple of products and projects:
Helping more young people: We are expanding project LiMITTless. If you know a young person who would benefit from having a Mitt, to help them carry out activities while at home, please get in touch! Or if you would be interested in supporting the project by funding a family, please reach out to us – your help is needed now more than ever.
Helping adults: We‘ll be launching our adult-optimised range of Mitts in the coming months and have applied for UKRI funding to support this. If you know someone who might be interested in one, please send them our way! Or if you are an Occupational Therapist or Clinician, please get in touch as we’d love your input to help us assess and perfect the product.
Contact Nate: @wearMitt.com or visit their website: https://www.wearmitt.com/