If you're thinking of applying to Whizz-Kidz for a wheelchair, buggy or trike, you've probably got lots of questions.
Here we have answers to the questions we get asked most often - just click on each question to see the answer. If you need any more help or advice, please call our team on 0800 151 3350 (this is a local rate number) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply for mobility equipment?
You can find all the information about how to apply to Whizz-Kidz for equipment on our how to apply page.
Please note: Only the parent/legal guardian of the child/young person can submit an application for equipment.
What are your criteria for providing equipment?
We ask the following questions:
- Is the young person under 18 years old? Applications must be submitted before the young person's 18th birthday.
- Does the young person have a physical disability that permanently affects their mobility and participation?
- Have you approached your local NHS wheelchair service and found that the mobility equipment that your child needs is not available/provided?
If you answered yes to all of these questions, then the young person may be eligible for equipment from Whizz-Kidz.
If you've had mobility equipment from Whizz-Kidz in the past you can still make a new application as long as the young person still meets the above criteria and it's been two years since your last application.
Does Whizz-Kidz maintain the equipment they provide?
It is the family’s responsibility to service the equipment annually and to pay for any ongoing maintenance or repairs.
For more information, please go to our aftercare page.
Do you have a brochure or catalogue of the equipment you provide?
Every piece of mobility equipment we provide has been prescribed to meet each individual young person's specific needs. For that reason we don't have a brochure of equipment for you to choose from. However you can find examples of the kinds of equipment we currently provide by going to our equipment page.
Can I try out the mobility equipment?
We conduct a full clinical assessment and if necessary we can bring suitable mobility equipment to the clinic appointment for the young person to try out.
What type of equipment do you provide?
Specialist sports wheelchairs
We do not fund car seats, vehicles or vehicle adaptations, home adaptations, sit-to-stand wheelchirs, powered tricycles or static equipment (e.g. comfy chairs, standing frames, static exercise bikes etc.)
Can our community therapist be involved in the assessment?
Yes, their involvement is very welcome. We encourage joint assessments as they are a great way to share expertise, and also potentially identify additional funds, enabling us to reach the best possible outcome for each young person. If the community therapist doesn't want to be involved, then Whizz-Kidz will carry on with the assessment independently.
If we have already bought a piece of equipment can you refund us?
No, we do not operate on this basis and only fund equipment that one of our therapists has assessed a child for.
Do you means test?
No we don’t.
Do you take vouchers from the NHS Wheelchair Service?
Some NHS Wheelchair Services operate a Voucher Scheme which means they will fund or part-fund mobility equipment.
Whizz-Kidz actively joint funds equipment with as many local wheelchair services as possible. It’s worth approaching your local service to find out if the young person is eligible for a voucher before applying to Whizz-Kidz. If you apply to Whizz-Kidz we will also approach your local wheelchair service to identify any joint funding opportunities and maximise our resources.
It is worth knowing that the voucher can’t be exchanged for cash. It is non-taxable so it will not affect any disability benefits your child may be receiving.
Also, if you buy a wheelchair privately from a commercial company or individual, you cannot claim back the money from the NHS Wheelchair Service or from Whizz-Kidz.
Can you provide us with a Grant?
No, we do not operate on this basis. Whizz-Kidz will only fund mobility equipment following a clinical assessment by one of our therapists or engineers
Are your mobility therapists qualified?
All of our mobility therapists are either occupational or physiotherapists, with additional specialist training. They all have many years of experience providing mobility equipment to children and young people.
Do you have joint funding?
Yes, we do. We endeavour to jointly fund as often as possible, so that we can make our funds go further and help as many young people as we can.
For non-recreational equipment we approach the local NHS Wheelchair Service to ascertain whether they will work with us. For example, we might joint fund some additional extras on NHS wheelchairs (such as risers or specialist controls), or we use the funding provided through the NHS to provide a wheelchair / certain functions that the NHS is unable to provide.
We also work with other charities, and some families also contribute to the cost of the equipment. Any joint working / funding will only be considered following a clinical assessment by one of our engineers / therapists.
Are there other charities that can help?
If you're unable to obtain mobility equipment from the NHS, there are other charities or charitable trusts that provide grants for mobility equipment. You’ll need to check what their guidance is for eligibility and follow their application procedure. Most charities will not carry out a clinical assessment to identify the best equipment and are not able to cover the cost of maintenance, servicing or insurance. This is a crucial part of looking after mobility equipment, so you do need to consider this when applying.
Here is a list of other organisations that may help:
- Contact a Family (CAF) is a great source of advice and information for families of disabled children.
- Disabled Living Foundation gives a comprehensive overview of a wide range of equipment that has been tried and tested by children and families.
- Ask your local Paediatrician or local NHS Children’s Centre who may have knowledge of local charities who could help you.
- Libraries or voluntary organisations often have directories listing local charities and trusts. Remember to check their criteria.
- If a member of your family is, or has been, a member of a group or union it is worth approaching them. Often industries in decline have funds waiting to be used.
- If any member of the family is, or has been, a member of the armed forces, you could approach the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA).
- If any member of the family is, or has been employed in the banking sector, you might like to consider approaching the Bank Workers Charity.
- There are companies that hire and sell products – often with someone coming to your home to demonstrate products to you. These can be found by searching online, in disability magazines or in the phonebook.
How do you prioritise an application?
All applications that meet our criteria will be screened by the clinical team. We take several factors into account, including the type of equipment requested, what equipment the child/young person already uses, when and where the equipment will be used, the young person's condition and what they would like to achieve with the equipment requested. We also take into account the needs of their family and/or carers. As a charity we are dependent on our voluntary income and are therefore unable to provide an emergency service.
I want to buy the Mobility Equipment privately. Can you offer some advice?
We are unable to support with private assessments or face to face advice. However, if you've fundraised to buy your child their mobility equipment or you can afford to purchase your child’s mobility equipment privately here are some of the things you should think about:
- What advice does your local therapist give?
- What does the young person want to do with the equipment?
- What makes their movement difficult, and what would make it easier?
- What is good about any equipment they may already have?
- What else needs to be considered when buying mobility equipment e.g. access to your house, school and college and how the equipment is transported?
- What may change in the next few years?
- Have you thought about the ongoing repair and maintenance of the equipment?
- Have you thought about insurance of the equipment?
You should ensure the young person is assessed by someone who is qualified to do so and that you are able to trial equipment before you purchase. It’s worth noting that a piece of equipment may not be able to do everything you want it to.
How long will I/my child be on the waiting list?
Whizz-Kidz is virtually 100% reliant on voluntary donations, so it is very difficult for us to accurately predict how long the wait for equipment will be as it really depends on the money we receive.
What do I do if the young person has outgrown their equipment?
Most equipment is prescribed with room for growth in mind. If the young person appears to have outgrown their equipment, contact us and we may be able to arrange a review appointment. However, as for any intervention we are relying on our voluntary income for review appointments, so there is likely to be a waiting time until the young person will be seen/adjustments can be made. If the equipment cannot be grown any further you can reapply to Whizz-Kidz for new equipment, providing the young person meets our criteria for provision of mobility equipment. . Please email us at email@example.com or call our Customer Services team on 0800 151 3350.
What do I do if the young person no longer needs their equipment?
This depends on the age, condition and type of equipment. For example, a powered wheelchair could be reconditioned if it is in good condition.
If the equipment is in good condition, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our Customer Services Team on 0800 151 3350 and give us the model name and length of use. If we are unable to refurbish the equipment, you could consider donating it to a local school or hospice, but it would be entirely their decision to take it or not.
If your equipment is old and worn, we recommend you scrap it safely, particularly if there are electrical components such as batteries.
What if the young person's needs have changed and the equipment no longer meets their needs?
Contact us to discuss the details and our clinical team will review the request. We may then potentially arrange an appointment to review the young person’s needs/adjust the equipment. However, as for any intervention we are relying on our voluntary income for review appointments, so there is likely to be a waiting time until the young person will be seen/adjustments can be made if applicable. Please email us at email@example.com or call our Children’s Services team on 0800 151 3350.
Where can I go for help if the young person is over 18?
Your local wheelchair service should be your first port of call. The Disabled Living Foundation may also be able to offer advice on other organisations that may be able to help.
Is it possible for a Whizz-Kidz therapist to do an assessment if we have the money/have fundraised to buy our child their equipment?
No, we do not provide this service.