Most people know Whizz-Kidz for our work with disabled children, but as well as thousands of children, there are still thousands of adults waiting for the mobility equipment they need to fulfill their potential. In some cases, through our NHS partnerships, we can now also bring our expertise to adults as well as children. When children and adults wheelchair services are combined, we’re proud to be able to give disabled adults the chance of an independent future, where they can play an active part in their communities and society.
'I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 2004, and within 18 months I was in a wheelchair. I used to work as a lorry driver, and spent my days lifting and carrying heavy loads. When the MS kicked in, all of a sudden I was sitting at home and I lost my mobility. It just progressed.
'I was given a manual wheelchair by the NHS but I put on a lot of weight after the medication and eventually they gave me an electric wheelchair. It was fine at first but over the course of time it needed a lot of maintenance. The chair just wasn’t working for me. As soon as I come to a slope it couldn’t manage. My weight wasn’t evenly balanced, and I fell out of it going over a ramp one day and ended up in A&E.
'So I called the wheelchair service again, which by now was being run by Whizz-Kidz. I was impressed by how quick it was. I had an assessment with Claire within a week of my call. As soon as she saw me in my chair she said “it’s not for you”. It was like trying to put a man in a baby chair.
'She took the measurements, had a look at me and we had a chat about all the details, down to the type of cushion that suited me. She even gave me the chance to choose the colour. I asked for blue. I thought it was nice to be offered the option –it was like waiting for a new car! It wasn’t long until I had a call to say my new powered chair was being delivered.
'Well it’s made a world of difference. Believe it or not, it’s made me confident again. I sit higher and straighter. I’m looking into people’s eyes, not looking up at them. Getting this has changed everything –the way I eat, the way I feel, getting out and about. The battery life is ten times the old one. I can go much further, up to the shops, to the hospital or swimming baths and round the park with my wife. It’s had an impact on everything. I’m proud of my chair, it’s part of me. I want to present myself well; you wouldn’t want to go down the road in dirty clothes. That’s how I feel about making sure my wheelchair gives the right impression. It’s all much brighter for me.'
In 2013 an independent report by Frontier Economics found that Whizz-Kidz has made significant cost savings and enhanced health outcomes for adults in London's Tower Hamlets area. Read more about how the 'Whizz-Kidz effect' benefits adults.