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Young People's Newsletter - December 2021

At the end of 2021, who would have thought that most of our services would once again have been online. A huge thank you to you all for your continued support in 2021. 

Whizz-Kidz Team
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Whizz-Kidz Team

While some clubs have had to be cancelled, changed or rescheduled due to the ongoing pandemic, it has been lovely to have some face to face sessions again. The importance of supporting our young people is evident in this piece of feedback received: ‘’…E has really grown in confidence and although we have only attended two sessions, she felt she belonged to the group and has made friends with some of the older children there and it has really helped her in many ways. It has been nice to hear her laugh and see her smile again. E’s brother has also grown in confidence as well as he has been talking to other siblings who joined in, which has been really nice and he too has also found new friendships’’.

There are a few things left until the end of the year:

16th December Virtual Christmas Disco 

19th December Christmas Crafts

To book, email clubs@whizz-kidz.org.uk 

2022 Return to Services!

We are delighted to launch some new programmes and activities in 2022 and we will be sharing more information in coming months.  

Families Network 

We are delighted to be launching our Families Network – an online community for families of young wheelchair users. With monthly newsletters, online coffee mornings and guest speakers, as well as access to a private Facebook Group and exclusive offers, you won’t want to miss out! Please register your interest at: Families Network Registration Form.

Activity Programmes

In the new year we will be running a series of face to face events under different themes, so there will be something to suit everyone. As always, if you have any activities that you’d love to see, please do get in touch to let us know and we will do our best to make it happen.   

We are all really excited to return to a bit or normality next year and make many more memories with you all. Keep your eyes peeled for more information coming your way soon – this will include a new exciting programme of events and Healthcare Assistants returning to services. 

Fundraising 

Each month we will be bringing you news from our Fundraising and Events teams. This month, meet Charlotte...

Whizz-Kidz were able to help 2-year-old Charlotte with a wheelchair just in time for Christmas. But there are still thousands more young wheelchair users just like her who require a wheelchair suited to their needs.

You can see more about Charlotte’s story and watch the difference her wheelchair has made in her Christmas video here: Charlotte's Christmas Story | Whizz-Kidz

The Rights of the Child:

The Department for Education has launched a survey on Children’s Rights Awareness, aimed at children and young people aged 8-18. 

This survey is a qualitative look at children and young people’s perspectives on their rights, and is part of a wider-scale project which aims to engage with children to participate in the conversation around the UN Children’s Rights Convention on the Child. 

If you would like to be involved you can engage in the survey here -   https://dferesearch.fra1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_2rDPDZNw7NJ8qiy  There is an easy read version available on the same link.

Regional News & Updates

Wales

And just like that, another year has flown by! A huge thank you to all of the young people and their families and carers for joining us during our face to face events and virtual activities - making the best of the strange situation we’ve been in. Despite not being able to see each other face to face as much as we would have liked, we’ve had a great time virtually and it wouldn’t have been possible without you! 

Over the last year, you’ve been able to revisit face to face activities – and we came back with a bang! With opportunities such as Surfing, Zip Lining, and Sand Buggy Races, we’ve been continuing to challenge perceptions of disability and prove to so many people that with the right adaptations, any activity is accessible. 

Email: j.simonson@whizz-kidz.org.uk

North

November saw our Birmingham Club getting both active and digital with a Wheelchair Basketball session followed by Lego Robotics at Portway Lifestyle Centre, whilst our Manchester Club enjoyed the relaxation and wonders of the Blue Planet Aquarium at Cheshire Oaks. Sheffield Club felt the chill with a private ice skating session. This proved to be very popular, some of the feedback received included: ‘’…Having the ice to ourselves was amazing. There was so much joy and laughter. This was our first face to face in 2 years so was really special. I realised how much Lizzie has missed out on those role models of older girls in their Wheels. Watching Lizzie laugh and hearing her squeal with delight was just joyous’’. Our Liverpool Club enjoyed an abseiling session on the Climbing Wall at The Hive, followed by a cooking class to make vegan burgers and ketchup. The vegetables had been grown and lovingly prepared from the onsite allotment.

We have undertaken lots of Wheelchair Skills Training in Schools over the past couple and the participants of the Activate Academy Sports Placement Program were kept busy nearing the completion of their program with First Aid Training, Mental Health First Aid Training and the filming of promotional videos to document their experience participating and accessing Sport in their communities.

Scotland

In Scotland, we have recently started a new partnership with Lothian Buses. They have asked if we can pass on some information as they are keen to get the opinion of young people across the region (not just Edinburgh) about bus and travel services: 

At Lothian Buses, we want to shine a light on individual stories from people with hidden disabilities to raise awareness and foster understanding among all who use our services. We understand that many have both visible and hidden aspects to their disability and we’ve spoken to a number of our customers including those with mobility issues, sensory impairments, developmental and learning disabilities, to gain a better understanding of what it is like to use our services. We intend to use these stories to learn from their experiences as we continue to evolve and adapt our services and to create a better culture of inclusion across the city.

We post the stories on our website,  on the screens in all of our garages and also on our social media pages

https://www.lothianbuses.com/accessibility/your-stories 

Twitter - @on_lothianbuses

Facebook – www.facebook.com/lothianbuses

Instagram - @lothianbuses

It would be great to include some stories from children and young people who use our services to go to school, college or university, meet friends or access hobbies and interests. If you have disability and would like to share your experiences with us please contact Olivia, our Accessibility and Inclusion Officer at Accessibility@LothianBuses.co.uk.

Olivia would also love to hear from you if you have any ideas, issues or questions about using the bus in Edinburgh and the Lothians. Please feel free to get in touch at any time!

Finally, wishing you all a very happy festive period. We are so excited to be planning activities for 2022 and look forward to seeing you soon.

The Whizz-Kidz Team