Ruth, aged 32, first received a lightweight manual wheelchair from Whizz-Kidz when she was aged 5. She received another wheelchair when she was 14, went on to be an active member of the charity’s Kidz Board youth panel, and continued to fundraise for the charity before her acting career took off.
The actress played Rosie Lyons in Russell T Davies’ futuristic British drama Years and Years, which has been described as 2019’s most terrifying, powerful TV drama following one family over the course of 15 years.
Ruth was nominated for a Leading Actress BAFTA in 2016 for her portrayal in the BBC3 fact-based drama Don’t Take My Baby and named as one of BAFTA’s Breakthrough Brits in 2017.
Since 1990, Whizz-Kidz has transformed the lives of over 20,000 disabled children and young people by providing the vital equipment, support and life skills they need to reach their full potential.
Ruth Madeley said:
“It has been a huge honour to be recognised as a Patron for Whizz-Kidz. They have been a major part of my life since I was 5-years-old when they gave me my first lightweight and Barbie-pink wheelchair. It feels like I have been on a real journey with Whizz-Kidz and me now being able to represent them as a Patron, feels like I have come full circle.
“That wheelchair I received changed my life. For the first time I was able to push myself around and not have to rely on others. The confidence and independence Whizz-Kidz gave me throughout my childhood has without a doubt shaped me into the person I am today. I am excited to be able to give something back by spreading the word as a Patron. ”
Ruth Owen OBE, Chief Executive of Whizz-Kidz, said:
“We’re absolutely thrilled to welcome Ruth as our exciting new Patron, she’s a fantastic example of how much a young disabled person can achieve when they’re given the right wheelchair.
“Ruth’s an exceptional actress and brilliant advocate for young wheelchair users, and we know her career is going to go from strength to strength. We can’t wait to work with her in the future.”