In the four years that Ayesha from Wales has been involved with Whizz-Kidz she has confronted bullies, become a Young Leader, campaigned to help other young disabled people and, as a result, her confidence and independence has grown significantly. In case that wasn't enough, she also finds time to play wheelchair tennis and basketball, which she is able to do thanks to her lightweight wheelchair from Whizz-Kidz.
'I received my Whizz-Kidz wheelchair and joined the Cardiff Ambassador Club in 2010 at a time when I was getting badly bullied at school. It was a really difficult time for me.
‘The lightweight manual wheelchair I received from Whizz-Kidz has really made a difference to my family and me. The chair is really light, which makes it nice and easy to manoeuvre and, because it is small, it is easy to travel around with. My old chair made my feel "stuck in the mud" but my Whizz-Kidz chair has enabled me to get stuck in. I never imagined I could play wheelchair tennis and basketball, but thanks to Whizz-Kidz I can. These sports are also very good to build up my upper body strength.
'I've made so many friends and have done lots of great things at the Cardiff Ambassador Club, it made me feel a lot happier. Every time I go to the club, I come away happy and smiling. If I'm worried about something I can talk to my friends, staff and volunteers, as well as my family – it is great to feel so well supported, especially when I used to feel alone.
'I am now the Young Leader of the Cardiff Ambassador Club. As Young Leader I have really enjoyed fundraising for Whizz-Kidz. I have taken part in the Big Welsh Walk for two years and launched a fundraising appeal at the home of Newport Gwent Dragons rugby team with fly half Jason Tovey.
'I also helped to represent Whizz-Kidz on TV for the ITV Text Santa appeal. It was so cool! I was really nervous but excited; lots of people saw me on TV and spoke to me in the street about it afterwards.
'Last year I joined the Kidz Board, where I am proud to represent Wales. The Kidz Board meets regularly at different locations across the UK, it is a great way to see the country and also hear about the experiences of other wheelchair users. We discuss a lot of issues together, help decide what direction the charity will take and campaign. Being on the Kidz Board has helped me to develop a lot of skills.
'I am now studying ICT and business at college, which I am really enjoying. I am feeling very happy about the future, and this is in part thanks to the impact that Whizz-Kidz has had on me.'
- Ayesha and mum with The Luminites at the Kidz Unlimited Awards
- Ayesha and Penny with Ed Balls MP.