Disabled children’s charity Whizz-Kidz will be able to expand their services for young wheelchair users in Scotland thanks to a new grant from The Big Lottery Fund.
The £343,114.00 grant will support Whizz-Kidz’s Wheeling for Change project, which will empower young wheelchair users in Scotland through a dynamic programme of youth clubs, camps, wheelchair skills training and work placements. The project ultimately aims to help young disabled people increase their confidence, build connections within local communities and prepare them for an independent adulthood.
Rian Hiney, 18 from Falkirk, is Vice Chair of the Whizz-Kidz Kidz Board and representative for Scotland. He said: “I have been attending the Whizz-Kidz club in Glasgow since 2013 so I have first-hand experience of the impact these services can have for young wheelchair users. Whizz-Kidz has drastically improved my confidence and self-esteem and given me the opportunity to take on leadership roles, and I’m really excited to see how these services can now have a similar impact on even more young disabled people.
“Thanks to the players of the National Lottery, Whizz-Kidz will be able to provide a bigger a range of services in Scotland, helping more young wheelchair users lead a fun and active childhood while preparing them for adulthood.”
Over the three years, the grant will allow Whizz-Kidz to expand its youth clubs from Glasgow and Edinburgh to an additional location, as well its leadership programme for young wheelchair users. The project will also see Whizz-Kidz provide young wheelchair users with residential camps where they can develop vital independent living skills, as well as work placements to help set them on their career path. Overall the Wheeling for Change project aims to provide unique opportunities for over 300 disabled children and young people across Scotland.
Jo Rhodes-Jiao, Head of Services North at Whizz-Kidz, said: “We are absolutely ecstatic to have received this funding from the Big Lottery Fund Scotland, which will make an enormous difference to the lives of disabled children and young people. We recognise that there is often a lack of activities tailored for young wheelchair users so we are excited to be able to organise clubs, camps and work placements to give them life changing experiences and allow them a positive transition from adolescence to adulthood.”
Each year, the Big Lottery Fund Scotland distributes millions of pounds of the National Lottery's good cause money to community groups and charitable projects around the UK. Projects like Wheeling for Change are made possible thanks to players of the National Lottery.