Penny, from the Midlands, has cerebral palsy and is a full-time wheelchair user. She received a lightweight manual wheelchair from Whizz-Kidz when she was five and has also been involved with many of the charity’s other services – such as attending Whizz-Kidz's youth groups (known as Ambassador Clubs).
Penny’s mum, Ines, says:
‘Penny received her first wheelchair from the NHS aged three, but the chair was so big and heavy that Penny was not able to self-propel and had to rely on others to move her around. It was difficult for her to engage with other children and enjoy freedoms, often taken for granted, such as being able to play and explore independently.
‘Penny got her first Whizz-Kidz wheelchair when she was five. The only option we had was to try charities, so we got in touch with Whizz-Kidz. It was a totally different experience for Penny getting her wheelchair – instead of just, “How tall is Penny? Ok. Here you go; that will do”, it was so much more complex and then she was really happy. When she went to school it was like Penny was coming in a Ferrari, she thought it was great! Everyone was asking, “Can I have a go in that!?”
‘Whizz-Kidz is the best thing that's ever happened to Penny… seriously. I don’t want to imagine where she would be without it – she would sit in a rubbish wheelchair, not being able to move herself and not being able to communicate the way she does. It has really brought her on in many ways. Without Whizz-Kidz, I don’t think Penny would be the confident, independent young person that she is today.’
‘My chair basically gives me a life – before it, I couldn't do the things that other kids could do.’
‘I really enjoy getting involved in such a variety of things, I think the clubs are always so exciting and I really like working as an Ambassador.’