Young wheelchair users will benefit from a £1 million award from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, as part of the Dream Fund initiative.The award will fund Wheels of Change, an exciting joint project for disabled children, which will be run by Whizz-Kidz, world leading researchers and by engineering and design experts Professor Ian Underwood and Arno Verhoeven at the University of Edinburgh and Duchenne UK. The project will research and develop new technology, design & innovation to integrate with and enhance mobility equipment.
Ruth Owen has said: ‘We are thrilled to win this fantastic award and we can’t thank the players of People’s Postcode Lottery enough. Harnessing the worlds of engineering, technology and design, this truly unique and innovative project will be a huge investment into ground-breaking technology, helping to make mobility equipment that really enhances the lives of wheelchair users.’
Professor Ian Underwood, School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh, said: ‘The University of Edinburgh is delighted to be working with Whizz-Kidz and Duchenne UK as a lead partner in this ground-breaking research project intended to enhance the quality of life of young wheelchair users.
‘The University will assemble a diverse team of world class researchers and highly motivated students from the School of Design and the School of Engineering and our participatory approach will put young disabled people at the heart of the project by listening to their needs and aspirations.’
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy charity, Duchenne UK, will also be supporting the project with additional funding, as part of their aim to fund and accelerate research into ways to improve current technical and device support for disabled children and young people.
Emily Crossley, Co-CEO and Co-Founder, Duchenne UK, said: ‘We are pleased that Whizz-Kidz has been successful in winning this award and we look forward to working with them and the team in Edinburgh to enhance and improve current technologies for wheelchair users with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.’
Whizz-Kidz has been supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery since 2013 and, to date, they have generously awarded nearly one million pounds to support the charity’s work. This has helped us support 2-25 year-olds by providing the vital mobility equipment, support and life skills they need, to help them fulfil their potential and achieve their goals.