A group of young disabled children were recently given an exciting day out at Legoland Windsor, thanks to Bath-based charity Designability.
The children, who range from 1 to 5, were invited along free of charge to meet other children like them, give parents the chance to talk with others who are caring for a child with a disability and have fun together in their fun and innovative Wizzybug wheelchairs.
The specialist wheelchairs have been provided free of charge as part of the Wizzybug Loan scheme, run by Designability.
The group visited Miniland, rode on the DUPLO train, watched the “Pirate” stunt show and experienced the oasis of calm in the Enchanted Forest.
The children’s disabilities mean they are unable to walk unaided which limits their ability to play. Thankfully, the loan of a Wizzybug-powered wheelchair means that they could explore the park and play with others like them.
Anna-Marina Dearsley summed up the day, saying: “Emerson is still buzzing from his fab day out yesterday at Legoland.
“His favourite part of the day was going on the apprentice mini rollercoaster and the hot air balloon ride, ohh and the merry-go-round too many good rides to mention.
“Being able to be independent and choose where he wanted to go was so nice to see. He tackled the crowds of excited children and adults with confidence and navigated his Wizzybug like a professional driver.
“He was even a little cheeky and decided to go off and get himself some ice cream.”
Powered mobility equipment is costly to buy and is not generally available through the NHS for children under 5. Designability has offered the Wizzybug on a free loan scheme since 2011 and to date over 550 families have benefited from the loan of the unique wheelchairs.
Caroline Grange, Marketing Officer at Designability, said: “Our Wizzybug Loan Scheme gives very young children the chance to experience their first wheels. Wizzybugs were designed with very young children in mind and give them the opportunity to play more freely with their friends and family.
“We are forever told how valuable they are in helping them to learn vital movement skills, spatial awareness and a taste of independence.
“Thanks to the generosity of Merlin’s Magic Wand who gifted the families the tickets, we’ve been able to extend our support to enable the families to socialise together and support one another too.”
The charity has a small workshop team building the wheelchairs in Bath and funds are needed to build more Wizzybugs and provide appointments for children to be assessed for one.
Designability are looking for people to support them to reach 1000 Wizzybugs. If you think you can help, visit www.designability.org.uk or call 01225 824103.