Hannah, 15, from St Albans in Hertfordshire has cerebral palsy meaning she cannot walk unaided. In 2014 Hannah received a new powered wheelchair from Whizz-Kidz, having previously received other pieces of equipment from the charity which she had gradually outgrown.
Hannah’s new wheelchair was delivered on her doorstep, to her local community centre with our Man in a Van innovation. Through this service, one of our expert Whizz-Kidz Mobility Engineers, Dean, was on hand to make adjustments to Hannah’s chair to ensure the chair is right for her, rather than attempting to make Hannah right for her wheelchair.
Hannah’s mum, Julia, says:
‘What’s great about Whizz-Kidz wheelchairs is not just the mobility, but the personalisation. Having a chair that is right for Hannah is so important, as an incorrect chair can have an adverse effect on her health. Dean, the Whizz-Kidz Mobility Engineer, and Marja, the Therapist, made sure that the new chair specifications suited Hannah’s needs so that the support was correct for her posture, and made sure other features, like her feet position, were exactly how they should be.
‘Whizz-Kidz start working from what the young person needs and work backwards from that; this makes sure the chair is as right as possible for that individual young person. Also, little added touches like having Hannah’s name embroidered on the back of the chair makes her really feel like “that’s my chair!”
‘We had the first handover at a local community centre, and it was noticed that some aspects of the chair weren’t entirely right for Hannah. But thanks to Man in a Van, Dean was able to visit our home within a couple of weeks to make the adaptations to the chair for it to be perfect. Dean was fabulous!'
‘I like most things but my favourite is just being out and about shopping, coffee and cakes, bowling, swimming and trips to new places. I love school and they are giving me lessons to drive my chair better and more independently.’
‘The riser function on the chair is great. It means that wherever we go, whenever we go, everything can be at Hannah’s eye level, which is fantastic. The powered wheelchair has also benefitted me and the whole family. We couldn’t do things like go to Legoland, or the local farm before the powered chair, and I would even struggle helping her in and out of the car, or pushing her up the ramp to our house, so the chair has really helped us all.
‘Thanks to her powered chair from Whizz-Kidz, Hannah has more independence. She is hoping to go to college after finishing school. We have been so fortunate to find Whizz-Kidz, and the services they provide, like Man in a Van, are fantastic. They have kept Hannah healthy, and me healthy, and it is great that you can really see where the money is going.’