Yasmeen represents East Midlands on our Kidz Board. She has Wiedemann-Rautenstrauch syndrome, which means that she uses a wheelchair but doesn't always have the strength to propel herself. She has now received a powered wheelchair from Whizz-Kidz, which enables her to be more independent and lead an active social life.
'I found that there was very little flexibility in what mobility equipment the NHS were able to provide me with. The way they make decisions seems to be very black-and-white and inflexible. For example, because I can transfer myself from my wheelchair to a piece of furniture, I was told that I couldn't get a powered chair. The whole process was very frustrating for me and my family.
'I found out about Whizz-Kidz through my physiotherapist. The powered chairs that Whizz-Kidz has given me mean that I can be truly independent. My chair fits my needs, for example I have a seat riser which means that I can access shop-counters, see what is going on in a crowd and interact on the same level as my friends and they don’t have to look down to speak to me.
'Whizz-Kidz are not just about wheelchairs there are lots of other services. I am a part of the Leicester Ambassador Club [Whizz-Kidz's youth groups] and I am a member of the Kidz Board. These have given me opportunities to meet new people and to become a young role model for other disabled young people. Since being part of Whizz-Kidz, my confidence has grown and I now go to a local youth group, as well as my Ambassador Club.
'I have had lots of amazing opportunities through Whizz-Kidz, but particular highlights for me have been dressing up and going to the Houses of Parliament for the Kidz Unlimited Awards, going to the Olympic Park and getting backstage on the EastEnders set to meet some stars of the show.
'Having the right equipment means that I am more included in my local community and I can do more social things. Whizz-Kidz has also encouraged me to be more confident in using other services available to me: for example, Whizz-Kidz staff encouraged me to use a train to get to my Kidz Board meetings and I found that although it's not perfect and you sometimes face problems, I can do it!'
- Yasmeen at a Whizz-Kidz party with staff member Rob
- Yasmeen attended a Children In Need event with the Kidz Board