A pioneering charity which has transformed the lives of disabled youngsters celebrated its 40th anniversary with a sun-drenched family fun day.

MERU, based on the Eclipse Estate in West Hill, Epsom, designs and makes life-changing equipment for disabled young people.

Visitors at the event, on Saturday , July 6, were treated to face painting, tombola, daleks, raffles, live music, food and refreshments, and raised £1,000 which will go towards the charity’s work.  They were also able to discuss equipment ideas with MERU’s engineers. 

The day before, the charity held a professionals open day for people to explore its workshops and discover more about how it designs and how it builds equipment, with the chance for them to have a go themselves.

MERU was founded in 1973 by consultant orthopaedic surgeon Trefor Llewellyn-Bowen, father of the flamboyant home-style consultant Lawrence, and William Bond, a senior lecturer in engineering design, who were concerned by the lack of clinical facilities that could provide equipment for disabled children.

Last April it merged with Leatherhead-based charity Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People (QEF) after running into financial difficulties.

Graham, a design engineer at MERU, said: "MERU is a truly creative charity, solving problems and realising dreams. 

"I’m very proud to be celebrating 40 innovative years with an event that included our staff, volunteers, beneficiaries, and hopefully raised awareness about MERU locally too."

Mark Mayer, one of MERU’s former custom-made project clients, who is now an engineering volunteer, added: "I came to MERU for help when I was eight years old.  MERU gave me the chance to lead a normal life.

"I love volunteering here, you work with a small, friendly team and have the chance to make a difference by working on new and exciting projects."

For more information visit www.meru.org.uk