Wizzybug powerchairs image

Bath-based design charity Designability has launched a new fundraising appeal so that it can help meet the backlog of disabled children requiring powerchairs, who are currently facing long waiting times due to the disruption caused by COVID-19.

The appeal – ‘We Don’t Want To Wait’ – calls for donations to help reduce the long waiting times that disabled children are currently facing to get a Wizzybug powered wheelchair.

Designed specifically for children under five, Wizzybug helps children with cerebral palsy, spinal muscular atrophy, spina bifida or muscular dystrophy, as well as children with amputations or a rare developmental delay affecting their ability to walk.

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Designability offers its Wizzybug powerchairs free of charge to children across the British Isles through a loan scheme. After families or therapists request a Wizzybug through the loan scheme, children can keep the device as long as they need it.

The charity says the only real eligibility criteria is that a child is in need of greater independence, mobility and freedom.

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Designability had to put Wizzybug appointments on hold for months during the lockdown. Now, families are currently facing a wait of over seven months to get a Wizzybug powerchair.

Although Designability has restarted Wizzybug appointments, the charity says it is struggling to keep up with demand and the backlog created by COVID-19.

To help meet this demand, Designability has launched a new fundraising appeal to fund extra resource so that children no longer have to face long waiting times.

Kathryn Earle, Children’s Occupational Therapist at Designability, said: “This year we have all had to put a lot of important things on hold and have been waiting to be able to see loved ones, return to the workplace and much more.

“But the wait for a powered wheelchair for a child who is unable to move themselves independently is something we do not want to delay any longer than we have to.

“Most children move on from Wizzybug by 5 years old so waiting 7 months or more could mean that some children will have almost outgrown it before they have even received it.”

“As a small charity, we need to be able to fund the extra resource we need to get the waiting time down quicker. We want to be able to see more children and build more Wizzybugs sooner rather than later.”

As part of the ‘We Don’t Want To Wait’ campaign, Designability provides an example of one family who would greatly benefit from a Wizzybug.

Kirstie is mum to Franky, 2, who has cerebral palsy and is waiting to get a Wizzybug. She said: “We can’t wait to get the Wizzybug for our son Franky as this will give him a whole new lease of life. He is a twin and will be able to keep up with his brother when we are out and about. It will give him some new found independence.

“I cannot wait to see the smile on my boy’s face when he is finally able to sit in his Wizzybug. Most of us take getting from A to B for granted but hopefully soon Franky will be able to do just that.”

To support Designability’s fundraising appeal, people are urged to donate or organise a fundraiser

Designability says any donations received above or below the amount needed to fund extra resource will be used to support the ongoing running costs of Designability.

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https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Wizzybug-powerchairs.jpg?fit=900%2C600&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Wizzybug-powerchairs.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Sarah SarsbyNewsroomSector NewsThird SectorDesignability,Mobility aids,powerchair,powered wheelchair,Wizzybug,Wizzybug Loan SchemeBath-based design charity Designability has launched a new fundraising appeal so that it can help meet the backlog of disabled children requiring powerchairs, who are currently facing long waiting times due to the disruption caused by COVID-19.The appeal – ‘We Don’t Want To Wait’ – calls for donations to...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals