Whizz Kidz Allies
Work alongside Whizz Kidz and the young people we support to tackle issues of disability equity
Whizz Kidz partners with allies such as other charities, community groups and organisations so we can all be there together for young wheelchair users. We are also members of several organisations that support us in delivering our young people’s services.
What is a Whizz Kidz Ally?
The words ally and allyship are used a lot, but what is an ally? We thought it only right to ask young wheelchair users what they felt a Whizz Kidz Ally should be. Groups and individuals that young wheelchair users see as allies:
- Make everyone welcome
- Champion social rights, whether locally or nationally
- Continue to develop their understanding of disability, and have an openness to learn
With an 'open hearts, open mind' philosophy, allies build a ‘two-way street’ partnership model, being part of something bigger than themselves. They say, “a good ally is part of a chorus, not a solo voice.”
The young people ask, “How will you incorporate being a disability ally into your work, and propagate the message through your networks?” The young people hold us to the value of “Nothing for us, without us” and they hope you can work alongside them.
So, come, work alongside Whizz Kidz and the young people we support to tackle issues of disability equity, and the various points of intersectionality of our society.
Duke of Edinburgh Award
Whizz Kidz has been working with the Duke of Edinburgh Award to review its image of being an accessible organisation for wheelchair users. Working alongside a group of Whizz Kidz young people doing their 'E-DofE' Gold Award, we have enabled the Duke of Edinburgh Award team to research how accessible the award is, and the perceptions of that award. We convened an interview session attended by young wheelchair users that had done the award or been put off the award by the “expedition” component, as well as Whizz Kidz colleagues who had led or assisted on adapted expeditions. Whizz Kidz and Duke of Edinburgh are continuing the work to make sure the award is accessible to all, and that potential young people see it as such.
Transport for London
Whizz Kidz has a long-standing partnership with Transport for London, having been an existing member of the Inclusive Travel Forum. An Alumni Member, and former Kidz Board member has sat on the TfL (Transport for London) Youth Board, and Whizz Kidz has been invited to various events around the bus and London Underground Networks to discuss the impact on wheelchair users young and old, and we have seen the outcome of these unfold, with more to come.] TfL also helped Whizz Kidz reach out to London Councils to discuss the Freedom Pass Scheme, in support of a Kidz Board project around Bus Passes.
Accessible Banking Opportunities Forum
This forum allows Whizz Kidz to connect with various allies from both the disability charity sector, such as RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind) and RNID, as well as from the financial sector. Headed by two long standing Corporate Partners – EY and UK Finance - the forum gives a voice to the issues faced by young wheelchair users when banking, and looking at solutions that can be put in place, as well as giving an active involvement in the recommendations put in place by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) around “Vulnerable Customers” in 2021.
Whizz Kidz works closely with many schools across the UK to support their young wheelchair users. This may be in the format of accredited Wheelchair Skills Training, Employability Skills and Work Placements, equipment support, Disability Awareness Training or through our Community Change project.
St Ann’s School, Hanwell – A Community Change Success Story
St Ann’s School in Hanwell, applied for a Community Change project grant in the first round of the funding, with the aim of campaigning for better inclusion and accessibility within their local community. They currently have 37 wheelchair users at the school and, whilst their school environment is accessible, they wanted to promote accessibility within their community. Their in-house poet helped the young people devise a poem about their experience of being in a wheelchair, which was lovingly illustrated and compose into a book.
Accompanied by colleagues from both Whizz Kidz and MTR Elizabeth Line, the school took the book around Hanwell itself, dropping copies off at key locations, before spending another day in West Ealing to spread the word.
In a third event, the local Councillor, along with the CEO of Whizz Kidz were invited to a tour of the school to hear about the work that they do, and to meet some of the young people that attend the school, and who took part in the parade to raise awareness.
To top off their school year, and the wheelchair parade, St Ann’s visited their ‘local’ Whizz Kidz Morph Art Trail Sculpture “Fish Ahoy” at Paddington, where they and supporting Whizz Kidz colleagues were treated to tea and coffee in the GWR First Class Lounge, courtesy of MTR Elizabeth Line. Find out more about the work we've done with St Ann's.
We look forward to working with St Ann’s further in the future!
Whizz Kidz is a member of the following organisations. All of these help us share the voice of young people and works towards societal change for young wheelchair users:
- Accessible Banking Opportunities Forum
- Council for Disabled Children
- Disabled Children’s Partnership
- Digital Services Consortium
- Wales Disability Equality Forum
- Disability Policy Centre
- End Child Poverty Coalition
- Fair Education Alliance
- London Engagement Collaborative
- London Youth
- Inclusive Transport Forum
Get in Touch
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.