University student Rebecca from Durham is a wheelchair user and received a self propelling chair supplied with power assist wheels from the charity in 2009. Rebecca says that before she was involved with the charity she didn’t know how to make changes in her life. Her journey with Whizz-Kidz has changed that.
‘Six years ago, before I was involved with Whizz-Kidz, I was quiet and shy. I often felt lonely, because I didn’t feel able to do anything apart from go to school. I didn’t have the opportunity to go to clubs to meet new people and find out what I enjoyed doing in life. I felt that I had no control over my future.
'I first heard of Whizz-Kidz through my local physiotherapist who put me in touch with the charity and suggested that I attend an Ambassador Club to have fun and make new friends. In 2006 I attended the Newcastle Ambassador Club Christmas party and I have never looked back! I had never felt so comfortable, hanging out with people my own age, who also happened to be wheelchair users and as a result, I opened up myself.
'Since then, I’ve been a regular at the Newcastle Ambassador Club and taken advantage of lots of Whizz-Kidz services such as the Wheelchair Skills Training sessions and the Work Placement opportunities. Having work placements allowed me to think about what I want for my future, and motivated me to take charge of what I wanted to do with my life. For example I was lucky enough to go to Accenture for a week of work experience which was fantastic and opened my eyes to the world of corporate brilliance!
'My ultimate highlight with Whizz-Kidz was being on the Kidz Board. The Kidz Board are a group of young people who meet regularly to help make important decisions about the direction of the charity. This role gave me more self confidence because I realised that important people are interested in what young wheelchair users have to say. Kidz Board makes real change and I’m proud of our achievements. In 2010, I was also elected as co-chair person of the Kidz Board which allowed me to develop my leadership skills.
'I know I’ve grown in confidence since my first Whizz-Kidz Christmas party back in 2006. The skills and self-esteem I have developed through Whizz-Kidz have enabled me to make difficult decisions: for example, I took the scary decision to change course at my university when I knew I’d be happier studying something different. Without Whizz-Kidz, I would never have had the confidence to take charge of my own future and find something which I love doing.'
- Rebecca starred in our 'Kids just want to be kids' cinema advert. Click here to watch it.
- Rebecca was co-chair of the Whizz-Kidz Kidz Board