Jacqui is 22 years old and is from East London. She was frustrated by how long it took to get a wheelchair that suited her lifestyle through the NHS – but that all changed when she received a powered wheelchair from Whizz-Kidz.
‘My first wheelchair came from the NHS. It was huge and ugly, and not very suitable for a little girl who just wanted to be active and having fun like everyone else. When it was replaced with my Whizz-Kidz chair, I couldn’t quite believe it. It fit me perfectly; it had long handles, so my Mum didn’t have to bend over to push it and best of all it was purple and sparkly, which was very important to me at the time!
'Since then, I’ve had two more fantastic chairs from Whizz-Kidz – my current chair has a riser, which means that I can reach things a lot easier and do things like turn on light switches. Being able to do this simple thing makes such a difference to my independence.
'You wouldn't wear shoes that are two sizes too small or two sizes too big. It would be ridiculous, it doesn't make sense. Having a chair that does keep up with my lifestyle and can let me be whoever I want to be, or do whatever I want to do, means the world.'
'In 2013 I spoke about Whizz-Kidz’s ‘Generation Inspired?’ campaign live on Channel 4 – telling Lord Coe about the hopes of young disabled people for the Paralympic Legacy. Being a Londoner during the 2012 Games was exciting, everyone had a real sense of pride about the city. The Paralympics were a real game changer for disabled people and I am keen to see the positive legacy for disabled people continue.
'Another highlight with Whizz-Kidz in 2013, was live blogging at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. I met the Mayor of London – Boris Johnson – and interviewed lots of MPs.They all made me rethink politics in a positive way and made me really want to get involved, so I am going to do a work placement with Philip Davies MP, who I find particularly inspiring.
'Next stop – Jacqui for MP and, who knows, maybe even Jacqui for Prime Minister one day!
In this video, Jacqui tells her story and explains the benefits of having the right chair.