Wheelchair Skills Training (WST)
Why is WST important?
A vital part of providing disabled young people with wheelchairs is making sure they know how to use them to have fun and to be safe. By working as a team at WST, young people often achieve things they never thought they could. Go to the Kidz Unlimited website to search for training in your area.
“Because of my training here and getting more confidence, I was able to reverse into my house! (For the first time ever!)” Young person.
To see WST in action, take a look at the film below:
Go to the Kidz Unlimited website to watch our brilliant training films, produced by BBC Connect and Create.
Is WST for me?
WST is for any young person who uses a manual or powered wheelchair and can push or drive themselves. We run beginner / intermediate and advanced courses and we also work with young people with complex needs or switch operated power chairs.
“I saw my child very happy and independent for the first time in two years”.
We work hard to ensure all attendees achieve goals important to them, irrespective of their ability. All attendees leave with increased confidence and independence, having had fun and often with new friends.
“Really practical sessions with realistic goals that clearly empowered the children”.
WST has been designed by disabled young people, their parents and adult wheelchair users. We teach vital skills young people have told us they need in day to day life at school, home and at play, using a fun combination of games, one to one exercises and group activities.
” Thank you so much for allowing my daughter to participate in this scheme. She loved every minute of it. I hope she can come again, she got so much joy out of it, once again thank you, keep up the fabulous work”.
WST happens across the UK, during the school day in schools and during school holidays in community venues. WST trainers are employed by Whizz-Kidz, but we rely on schools and community organisations like wheelchair services to help us recruit young people and provide buddies for the young people. In school training is normally for young people who attend that school, but sometimes young people from other schools also join in. Email us or search for training in your area .
Who trains WST?
Training is delivered by adults who are hand picked to be great role models for the trainees, and have excellent training skills. Many of our trainers are full time wheelchair users. Trainers ensure each attendee has the support and encouragement they need to get the most from WST, and monitors each attendee’s distance travelled throughout the scheme, making sure the training is challenging but achievable for all.
“The trainer was brilliant! He included all the children in all activities and they were all treated as equals” Parent
What happens at WST?
Each scheme lasts for around 12 ½ hours, between 3 and 6 sessions. There is always an icebreaker at the start, to get the young people warmed up and comfortable in the group, then the trainers run activities tailored to the needs of the group. Skills we improve include spatial awareness, travelling in different directions and around obstacles, planning safe routes, negotiating different surfaces and getting through doorways and up and down ramps. Training also includes activities about staying safe, including showing trainees how to look after their wheelchairs and road safety.
Help us run WST
If you are a school, community organisation, or work with disabled young people, we would love to hear from you! Please contact the WST team on 020 7798 6110 or email us to discuss potentially working together. For more information, you can read our frequently asked questions for schools or frequently asked questions for community organisations.
We achieve a lot at WST, but attendees also need to practice their new skills after training is over. At the end of WST, each trainee makes a “pledge” to keep practicing a certain skill, and this is recorded on their final certificate. Attendees are also invited back to WST annually.
To find out about your nearest WST scheme, go to the events section of the Kidz Unlimited website.
To book a place or if you would like more information about future WST, email us or call the WST team on 020 7798 6110.
We need volunteers to support WST, so why not check out our calendar and see if there’s a scheme in your area. All volunteers undergo a Criminal Records Bureau check.
If you’d like to apply to be a volunteer, please call our Volunteers Officer on 020 7798 6117 or email us.
If you’re a company interested in sponsoring wheelchair training, please contact our Corporate team on 020 7798 6110 or email us.