Our young people in England hit the jackpot thanks to Lottery Players

Ruth Owen by Ruth Owen
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It has been an incredibly busy few weeks here at Whizz-Kidz, which culminated last Thursday with an absolutely fantastic event we hosted, showcasing the transformative effect our relationship with the Big Lottery Fund has had on our services in England. We had the real honour of hosting Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive of the Big Lottery Fund, at a special Whizz-Kidz Superclub in Vauxhall, where we demonstrated just how enormous the impact the generosity of lottery players has had on our work.

As Chief Executive, I don’t often get as many opportunities as I’d like to see our services first hand, so it was a privilege to see the young people attending our club last week so engaged in what Whizz-Kidz offers, and to see and hear from them the huge difference Whizz-Kidz makes to their lives in so many different ways.

It’s thanks to the three year grant we received from the Big Lottery Fund in 2014 that we’ve been able to create 10,650 life changing opportunities for young wheelchair users across England. Since 2014 the programme of work we developed with this funding has enabled us to offer a wide range of services to support and enhance the lives of young wheelchair users, and give them the skills to become more independent and fulfil their true potential.  

Our event, then, was a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate and showcase just what Whizz-Kidz has been able to do in partnership with the Big Lottery Fund. Through our services in England, we’ve given young disabled people the chance not only to get the most out of their childhood, but also the tools and skills to realise and achieve their true ambition. Without the support of the Big Lottery Fund, none of this would have been possible.

Last week I also had the pleasure of attending the British Travel & Hospitality Hall of Fame event at the Dorchester Hotel in London. This glittering awards event recognises excellences across the hospitality, tourism and leisure sectors, and it was an honour for representatives from Whizz-Kidz – myself included – to be invited along as the evening’s chosen charity beneficiary. To our delight, the event raised almost £18,000 to support our work – an amount which will undoubtedly change the lives of many disabled children and young people across the UK. We are incredibly grateful to the awards committee, and to everyone who so generously donated on the evening.

You may have noticed across our website and social media channels this month that we were celebrating the fantastic work of our therapists and clinical team in our first-ever Whizz-Kidz Therapists’ Week. Providing the right mobility equipment for disabled children is at the very heart of what we do here at Whizz-Kidz; in 2016 alone we were able to support nearly 1,100 children and young people across the UK with essential mobility equipment, so it was a pleasure to be able to publicly recognise everything our network of therapists do to support disabled young people.

To mark Therapists’ Week, we’ve produced a series of short films highlighting the amazing work our therapists do with disabled children and young people across the UK. You can view these films on our YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/WhizzKidzUK/

Until next time.

Ruth

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