Penny, Kidz Board Chair
"Hello - we're the Kidz Board! We're a group of young wheelchair users based across the UK.
"Our job is to make sure the voices of disabled people are at the heart of every decision Whizz-Kidz makes.
"We're passionate about raising awareness of the issues that affect us every day and we campaign to make a real difference for all young wheelchair users.
"2020 was both an immensely challenging and gratifying year. With the pandemic, it goes without saying that sadly we weren't able to see each other, or the people that we have the pleasure of working with, in person.
"We used technology to keep doing our job and address the issues and stigma that comes with being disabled in a pandemic.
"Despite all the challenges, we worked on so many interesting projects and what I'd say is some of our best work to date. We're proud to share with you what we achieved..."
Inclusion with Lexi
"We were excited to meet with an Editor from HarperCollins Publishers to discuss a new book featuring a protagonist who is a wheelchair user.
"We provided advice for the front cover and elements of the story.
"This was a fantastic opportunity to collaborate, and it was great to see the dedication to increased representation of wheelchair users."
Influencing and supporting Whizz-Kidz with Ella
"At the end of the year we ran a virtual version of the annual Kidz Board Showcase, where we answered questions and spoke about our experiences.
"The response to this was really positive, and many audience members got in touch afterwards to offer their support.
"We worked with the team at Whizz-Kidz to share our opinions and improve the accessibility of the Whizz-Kidz website and social media content.
"We had some really interesting sessions with the UK Parliament Youth Team about how the government works and how to make change happen - this has given us a few ideas to work on...
"We also had a lot of fun creating a virtual cheer-point to cheer on our runners for the virtual London Marathon!"
Education and employability with Georgia
"An employee from Coca-Cola, Mo, spoke with us about his experiences trying to find work as a wheelchair user.
"Stephen Salmon, a volunteer and Whizz Kidz fundraiser, spoke with us about Guidant Global, a recruitment company he works for that have an inclusive approach to employing and recruiting."
Accessibility with Hannah
"We decided to focus on accessibility in two major industries (gyms and cinemas) and have been in contact with several organisations and businesses, such as Pure Gym, Odeon, Activity Alliance, UK Active and the UK Cinema Association.
"We spoke with a group of young people in London, supported by the Mayor's Fund, to share ideas and views on accessibility.
"We met with Barratt Developments' CEO, David Thomas, to hear about their ongoing work on the dropped kerb scheme and to discuss more ways that we can collaborate, for example through facilitating meetings with organisations who can help to improve information and access to accessible university accommodation.
"We are also incredibly grateful for Barratt Developments' continued sponsorship of the Kidz Board."
Final thoughts from Penny
"On behalf of my friends in the Kidz Board, we want to say a huge thank you to Whizz-Kidz supporters and partners who have supported us through a difficult year.
"Now more than ever it's been so important to have your support, as a group of young people desperately attempting to navigate a world that seems, particularly in these times, to have forgotten equal access.
"We face up to many personal and collective challenges but thanks to you and Whizz-Kidz we can focus on making a better, brighter, more inclusive and accessible future."