Whizz-Kidz Ambassador Ayesha Khan has been presented with a Kidz Board award in recognition of her commitment to campaigning and fundraising in Wales and across the UK.
Ayesha, 21, from Pill, received the award following an impressive session at the Senedd where she, along with a number of young wheelchair users, presented evidence of their public transport petition to Assembly Members on Tuesday 31st January.
The Whizz-Kidz Kidz Board is a group of young trustees, who ensure Whizz-Kidz’s work is representative of young people’s views, and is just one of the charity’s extensive ranges of services and initiatives designed to help young people learn new skills, develop confidence and realise their true potential.
Whizz-Kidz’s services in Wales – and across the UK – are made possible thanks to players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, who since 2013 have generously awarded more than three quarters of a million pounds to support the charity’s work.
On receiving her award, Ayesha said:
“I am so proud to have been part of the Kidz Board, and it was amazing to receive the award in the Senedd, especially since we’d just taken our public transport campaign to members of the Assembly.
“The players of the People’s Postcode Lottery have made such a difference to the activities we do in Wales, so we’re really grateful for everything they have done. I’ve learned so much by completing the Young Leader’s programme; I think every young wheelchair user should do it!”
Joanna Fashan is Regional Services Area Manager at Whizz-Kidz, she said:
“Ayesha is such an asset to Whizz-Kidz, so we were delighted to be able to present her with her well-earned Kidz Board Award – particularly on the day she presented our public transport campaign to Assembly members. She should be very proud indeed for everything she has achieved.
“It’s clear to see the difference our services in Wales make to young wheelchair users – and the difference these young people themselves go on to make to the world around them. Everyone at Whizz-Kidz is incredibly grateful to the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, whose generosity makes the work we do here in Wales possible.”
The young people’s campaigning activities – which brought them to the Senedd – form part of the charity’s wider Get on Board campaign which, since 2015 has campaigned for better access across to public transport after a poll of wheelchair users, their families and carers revealed:
- The majority of people (70%) said they do not feel they can travel as independently as they would like to.
- Three quarters (77%) said they experience problems while travelling which mean they can't travel as independently as they'd like to.
- Barriers in accessing public transport ranged from lack of accessible transport near where respondents live (67%), to being deterred by the attitudes of staff (57%) or other passengers (61%).
- Two thirds (66%) said they simply do not feel confident enough to use public transport.