Triumphant thalidomide campaigners receive funding

An £80 million grant will help thalidomide victims cope with the physical and mental demands on their lives, according to a Jewish survivor of the scandal.

The government has announced that money will be provided to more than 300 victims over the next 10 years. The thalidomide victims’ needs are expected to increase as they reach their 50s.

Jewish campaigners, Guy Tweedy, Nick Dobrick and Mikey Argy were among the victims who spearheaded the efforts to secure the funding. The cash will be used for home and car adaptations and other medical needs.

Mr Tweedy, a Harrogate Hebrew Congregation member, said: “We have been campaigning for 10 years and the difference the money will make will be amazing. The pilot scheme we secured has worked really well but we needed something more permanent.

“Every so often, people need to have their wheelchairs replaced and it can cost up to £18,000 for a more complex one — or even £85,000 for a modified car.

“The money we have secured can be used to pay for physiotherapy or gym sessions.”

But Mr Tweedy said efforts to tackle the companies responsible for producing and distributing the drug would continue.

Last updated: 11:30am, December 27 2012