Duncan Fund

The Duncan Fund programme of Polio NZ Inc. is made possible because of generous donations from the Sir Thomas and Lady Duncan Trust. Its purpose is to assist in addressing the needs of those living with the long-term effects of polio, for which no other funding is available.

Duncan Family

The Duncan family have long been benefactors to those with polio. From 1945 when Sir Thomas and Lady Duncan first opened a small hospital in Silverstream, then later the Duncan Home in Whanganui, they have continued to contribute to the wellbeing of polio survivors.

The proceeds of their farm Otiwhiti Station, have funded their generous contributions.

Over the last several years Polio NZ Inc has received substantial donations to administer to polios who need items for which no other funding is readily available. We are doubly indebted to the Duncan family, not only for the assistance they gave to young polios in the days of the epidemics, but now as polios are facing the Late Effects of polio in their senior years.

Qualifying Criteria for Assistance

  • The applicant is living with the long-term effects of having had polio.
  • The applicant is in good standing as a member of Polio NZ Inc. (having paid their $17.25 per year sub)
  • The applicant shall produce evidence or otherwise convince the Duncan Fund Committee that the purpose of their application is necessary in the management of their post-polio condition.
  • Other avenues for funding need to be investigated before applying to the Duncan Fund. The Fund is for where there is no other funding available, or possibly where alternative funding would take so long as to make it impractical.
  • The purpose of the grant must be for the personal benefit of the applicant in managing the effects of polio.
  • The terms of the grant shall be determined by the Duncan Fund Committee of Polio NZ Inc. The Committee may decide to approve partial or full funding of the application. The approval or denial of any application is at the sole discretion of the Board of Polio NZ Inc.

An application form for the Duncan Fund can be requested from: The Secretary, Polio NZ Inc., PO Box 791 New Plymouth 4340 or e-mail [email protected]

Results from Previous Applications

Applications have been processed smoothly and the recipients provided with batteries for mobility scooters, walking frames, ramps, shower and kitchen stools, pick up sticks, a wheelchair cushion and a variety of other requests.

“All these appliances assist in improving the daily living activities for people who have had polio and are of great benefit to them,” the Board has announced. “It is clearly obvious that we all want to stay mobile, active and independent for as long as we can. There remain some applications that need further assessment and investigation to make sure of the best outcome for the recipients.”

“Please pass on to the Board of Management my grateful thanks for the grant to allow me to purchase a new walking frame. I am so pleased with the frame, I knew the old one was wobbly, worn and hard to unfold but didn't realise just how bad it was until I got the new one!”
“On behalf of my father, my mother, and my sister, I would like to thank the Board of Management of the Post Polio Society of NZ (Inc) for the cushion for my father’s wheelchair. I would also like to thank the Sir Thomas and Lady Duncan Trust Fund for making the funds available to the Society.”

“She is very grateful for your generosity and assistance as she unfortunately did not meet the criteria for urgent Enable funding for the ramp. It has made such a big difference in her life and to her independence and she is very happy with it.”

A new ramp installed in the home of a wheelchair user

“As I live alone and am now permanently in a wheelchair it has become more difficult to perform many of my previous tasks. I am no longer able to use my electric cooker as the switches are well out of my reach. The grant I received was used to purchase a certain type of microwave which is more suitable. I also had a shelf made at the correct height for it to stand on. This has made life simpler to manage and I hope to continue to live alone for some time yet.”

Still independent

What do you do when doing up your buttons becomes impossible? Within a day of receiving the request, a gadget specially made for buttons was purchased from the Disability Resource Centre. After some practice the recipient successfully got the knack of using the button hook. He had polio in one arm and hand and managed fine until he injured his “good” hand and needed the extra help of the button hook. A small item made life easier for him.

A small thing is a big help