If you’re a school, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, wheelchair service, community organisation, or someone who works with young wheelchair users, we would love to hear from you!
Whizz-Kidz can make a bigger impact and help more people if you are involved, so please pick up the phone and contact the team on 0800 151 3350 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below we’ve answered some of your most frequently asked questions.
Contact our Wheelchair Skills Training team
To book a place or if you would like more information about future Wheelchair Skills Training events please contact us on:
Phone: 020 7798 6120
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes Whizz-Kidz training different?
Our training is a fun, positive and interactive programme which teaches children and young people the important skills they need to be in control of their wheelchairs. We aim to challenge trainees with activities that are relevant to real life and are challenging but achievable for all.
All of our trainers are skilled and experienced and the majority are wheelchair users themselves.
We think it's important that participants learn from each other and we work from the basis that every member of the group has something to learn from and to teach others.
What is the aim of Wheelchair Skills Training?
We aim to teach the vital skills that disabled children and young people need to get the most from their wheelchairs. We also believe that these skills will help to improve confidence and independence.
What skills do young people gain from the training?
By the end of training, trainees will have taken part in a programme of activities, games and discussions, suited to their individual abilities and designed to improve the following:
Manoeuvring forward and backward, around obstacles, and in crowds, indoors and outdoors.
Picking up and carrying items, or asking for help to do so.
Awareness of personal safety, including road safety skills.
Negotiating different surfaces, ramps and kerbs.
Problem solving and planning routes.
Each trainee is also supported to set their own goal which they work on throughout the scheme. Goals are personal and we work with each trainee to choose something that’s important to them and achievable within the scheme.
Who is the training for?
Our training is available for young people aged 2-25. Our training is suitable for both manual and power chair users who can propel or drive themselves, as well as children and young people with complex mobility equipment such as tracker or switch activated wheelchairs.
When children and young people register for training they or their families fill in a questionnaire about their skills and what they want to get from the training, so that we can provide the level of training most suitable for them.
Usually we run training for mixed abilities. We also have training for young people with complex needs who benefit from one to one support and shorter sessions.
How many young people in a group?
On average 10 participants attend each session.
How long does training last for?
A training scheme lasts for 10 hours, usually over two days. Training which takes place during school holidays or at weekends runs over three sessions. In school training happens during the school day and over three to five sessions.
What safety measures are in place?
All Whizz-Kidz trainers and volunteers have gone through the Disclosure and Baring Service (DBS) process (which has taken the place of the Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) checks). Our staff are also trained in child protection procedures.
We organise volunteer “buddies” to support attendees, and provide a child protection briefing at the start of training. We risk assess venues and activities in advance. We aim for ratio of at least one volunteer per two children and one to one support when outside near roads.
We request that young people with more complex medical, behavioural or mobility needs are accompanied by their usual support worker from school.
We seek extra information about young people who need emergency medication for epilepsy or other medical needs.
How can schools get involved?
Schools can support us by helping us to find young people who would like to take part, and by organising the following:
-A hall and access to corridors, outside space and light refreshments for trainers and trainees.
-DBS cleared helpers from amongst school support staff; e.g. Teaching Assistants/Therapists.
-Distributing registration forms to families at least six weeks before training and ensuring that the families return them prior to the training by following up by phone or mail.
We ask schools we work with to sign a partnership agreement, which sets out the responsibilities of the school and of Whizz-Kidz, so that both parties are aware of what is expected from them.
Why is training during school time a good idea?
By teaching wheelchair skills in school, young people will learn more productively because they are in the environment where they regularly use their wheelchairs. Research shows that training young people to use their wheelchairs to their full potential at school means that they become more involved in the classroom.
- In-school training takes place in a familiar setting and empowers children to use their new learned skills immediately and on a daily basis.
- Staff are familiar to children and can pick up training tips from our expert trainers to use in their day to day work with children.
- In-school training means families don’t have to worry about transport.
- Children develop skills together with their school friends.
- Our trainers are new and exciting faces that give a positive lift to the curriculum.
- School based Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists know the young people better than we do and will have a very good grasp of what skills the children and young people could focus on. This really helps the trainers to better meet the needs of the trainees.
How can other organisations get involved?
NHS, voluntary and community organisations can support Whizz-Kidz by helping to find young people who are interested in the sessions. They can also help to organise the following:
DBS cleared helpers from amongst your professional staff or students.
Distribute registration forms to families at least six weeks before training and ensuring that the families return them prior to the training by following up by phone or mail.
We ask partners we work with to sign a partnership agreement, which sets out the responsibilities of the partner organisation and of Whizz-Kidz, so that both parties are aware of what is expected from them.
What is the cost to other organisations?
The cost of the training, trainers and equipment is covered by Whizz-Kidz. Often partner organisations provide support “in kind” by providing staff members as volunteers, refreshments for trainees or transport for some attendees. This kind of support is greatly appreciated by Whizz-Kidz.