You may remember that Whizz-Kidz was featured as one of ITV's Text Santa charities in 2012. Thanks to generous donations from the public, over £900,000 was raised for Whizz-Kidz, which meant we were able to provide over 200 children across the UK with life changing mobility equipment. A year on from the appeal, we'd like to celebrate how the lives of some of these young disabled people have been transformed. Below you can see the stories of Charlotte, Phillip, Jac and Jack who all received new wheelchairs through Text Santa funding (and you may spot them on ITV on Thursday 5th December). However, there are still an estimated 70,000 kids waiting for the right wheelchair to suit their needs and give them an active and independent childhood. If you'd like to help, simply click the donate button at the top right of this website.
Phillip, 18, Skelmersdale, North West England
18 year old West Lancashire College student Phillip couldn’t get a wheelchair on the NHS, and says his powered chair has given him 'a life'. ‘Life before my chair proved very difficult and tiring. I didn’t have the independence I have now and I can now get on with college and start looking to the future. I want to be a photographer and use my skills to highlight issues that can help others.’ Phillip is a now an active volunteer in his community and dedicates a lot of his spare time to supporting other young people. His new equipment was joint funded by ITV Text Santa and a generous donation from the ACT Foundation.
Video courtesy of Granada Reports.
Charlotte, 20, Bognor Regis
Charlotte’s new powered chair supports her to get around the Bognor Regis Campus of Chichester University, where she’s studying to become a primary school teacher. She says 'my wheelchair means my freedom - to study, to go out and live my life, and pursue my chosen career.'
Jack, 13, Nottingham
Jack begun using a wheelchair a few years ago, and the powered wheelchair he has received from Whizz-Kidz means he can stay as active and independent as he always was. He enjoys school, and spending time with his best mates. He wheelchair lets him get on the bus into the town centre with his friends, and hit the shops or the cinema. Jack is also pursuing sports that he can take part in using his powered chair, and is always seeking ways to push himself and have fun.
Jac, 16, Mold, North Wales
Jac’s powered chair includes a riser, and as well as helping him be a whizz at his college, he says he can now buy secret Santa Christmas presents for his friends and family by himself. He says, 'I can go in and out of shops without feeling tired, and reach high shelves without help. This means I can buy my video games - and presents for my family without them having to help me, which is better when trying to keep presents a secret!' Jac is a popular young man, and loves nothing more than having the independence to hang out with his friends and live the life of a typical teenager.