The Limbless Association, a charity supporting amputees across the UK, is launching AmpLAfy: a podcast series to raise awareness of the issues faced by people living with limb loss.
Based in Chelmsford the charity provides a range of services to over 2,500 members, service users and their families across the UK. This includes a telephone helpline and national peer support through a volunteer visitor programme plus Support and Connect hubs.
The Limbless Association (LA) is a national UK charity that supports limbless individuals of any age, whether they are about to have an amputation or are already living with congenital or acquired limb loss.
Since the coronavirus pandemic stopped face-to-face contact, the charity has been looking at new ways to support them and now runs its hubs online as part of its Virtually Speaking project. It has also developed a programme of virtual themed events to provide useful information and practical support, along with the new AmpLAfy podcast series.
AmpLAfy is funded through the LA’s young ambassador programme and has been devised and written by LA young ambassador lead, Ella Dove, who is an amputee, journalist and writer.
Deborah Bent, CEO of the charity, explains, “The coronavirus has had a significant effect on our members. When someone has lost one or more limbs and they cannot access face-to-face support, the impact on their mobility and their physical and mental health can be much harder for them and their family to manage.
“Our new AmpLAfy podcast is a series of honest, refreshing and really fascinating conversations between some of our members, their families and different professionals about what it’s really like to be an amputee and how it can affect all aspects of your life.
“We began working on this project before the pandemic but it’s become far more relevant and useful now – not just for people at all stages of their limb loss but their families, friends and medical professionals too. Even people with no connection to the limb loss community have told me how much they’ve enjoyed the podcast and found it really inspiring and motivational.”
Ella Dove, who created the podcast for the charity, is also a trustee for the Limbless Association.
Over six episodes, Ella interviews fellow amputees and professionals who are working with the limb loss community on a wide range of topics including body confidence, the impact on family and friends, phantom limb pain and how to set goals and adapt to the future.
In episode one, which focuses on mental health, Tracy Ralph, from Hockley, is interviewed along with psychological therapist Kim Lyons, who offers advice on coping with the repercussions of amputation, the benefits of mindfulness and how understanding your own values can help you to reframe your outlook on life.
Tracy lost both of her legs and her fingers due to sepsis. She initially volunteered for the LA and is now the South East Hub Development Officer for the charity.
Tracy says, “I was happy to be interviewed for the podcast as I know how helpful it is for people to share their experiences. Kim really helped me to progress with my recovery to where I am today so it was great to reconnect with her and share her great advice for improving your mental health.
“I’ve always enjoyed helping other people and I believe that some things happen for a reason. By going through the trauma of my illness and limb loss, I got the opportunity to volunteer for the Limbless Association. Now that I work there, I can use my experiences to support other amputees, which is my passion.
“I adore the AmpLAfy podcast as it’s a great way to get more people to have an honest conversation about amputation. And it’s not just for amputees – everyone can learn something useful from it.”