Disabled children and young people’s charity Whizz-Kidz has teamed up with The Albion Foundation to offer young wheelchair users from across the West Midlands an opportunity to improve their transport skills.
Heading from West Brom to Stratford-upon-Avon by train, the young people had the chance to practice their independent travel skills, managing the journey from start to finish, from buying tickets to boarding the train.
Jonathan Davis, 13, from Birmingham, said: ‘I had so much fun. I've never been to Stratford so it's like a new city for me. I'm happy that I've had a really good experience.’
On arriving at Stratford-upon-Avon, the group accompanied by Paul Hunt, The Albion Foundation's senior disability development officer, were able to explore the town visiting the shops and tourist sites before boarding the train back home. He explained: ‘It's about teaching them to be independent so it helps in later life.’
Ray Davis, regional services coordinator for Whizz-Kidz, added: ‘This is very important for the young people that we work with, as they don’t often get the opportunity to go out on their own without parents in a safe environment and learn how to get around as their peers do using the train, as well as getting around a busy town that they may not be familiar with. It’s also very important to give them confidence in their own independence and show them what they can do.’
The Albion Foundation uses the power of football to make a difference, raise aspirations, grow their people and participants and connect West Bromwich Albion Football Club to its communities. It provides sporting opportunities for those with disabilities and learning difficulties and aims to inspire them to love sport and provide opportunities to play, learn and develop all abilities.
Whizz-Kidz has been supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery since 2013 and, to date, they have generously awarded nearly one million pounds to support the charity’s work.