Charlotte is from Stoke in the Midlands and has a condition called Ullrich congenital muscular dystrophy, which means that she uses a wheelchair. Charlotte is a very active Young Leader at her Ambassador Club, a keen campaigner and an aspiring teacher.
‘Four years ago, I was very quiet and shy. Because of my disability, I was excluded from the clubs and activities which my friends did after school. I felt bored and frustrated.
‘For me, everything changed with a Whizz-Kidz Wheelchair Skills session in Stoke. I’d never taken part in fun activities designed especially for wheelchair users before. Then I also found out about Whizz-Kidz Ambassador Clubs. After that, I’ve been to every session possible. My brother now comes to the Ambassador Club too!
‘Whizz-Kidz has given my brother and me so much, I wanted to give something back, so I completed my Bronze Leadership Award with the charity. This involved an overnight stay away from home, fundraising for Whizz-Kidz and volunteering at a Wheelchair Skills Training session. What I’ve enjoyed the most about being a Young Leader is watching other young people make the transformation which I did through Whizz-Kidz. I met one young person, new to the Ambassador Club, who was very withdrawn. I made a special effort to make her feel welcome and it was great to see her come out of her shell and start to really enjoy meeting other young wheelchair users.
‘I have also taken part in campaigning through Whizz-Kidz. I decided to help organise the Stoke Ambassador Club’s ‘Less steps, more ramps’ campaign. We invited MPs, members of the European Parliament and local councillors to use wheelchairs to make their way around a tricky obstacle course we made in a local sports hall. We then did a presentation explaining the difficulties we had had and proposed solutions. Soon after, our Ambassador Club were sent the plans for the new Stoke shopping centre, which has plenty of ramps for wheelchair access. I felt so empowered taking part in this event, because it made me realise that together, we can make a difference.
‘Through all of these experiences, Whizz-Kidz has given me the confidence and the leadership skills I need to go to pursue my dream of being a primary school teacher which I never thought that I would be able to do before!’
- Stoke Ambassadors after they put politicians through a wheelchair obstacle course for their campaign