On Sunday 3rd August, two members of the People's Postcode Lottery team visited a youth group in Edinburgh for disabled young people, run by national children's charity Whizz-Kidz. This visit enabled Hazel Johnstone, Trusts Manager, and Rachel Ruxton, Deputy Head of Communications, to witness first-hand how the money that players of People's Postcode Lottery have awarded is helping to empower children in Scotland.
Our players have raised £150,000 for Whizz-Kidz so far, which has helped them to deliver vital support services across Britain, like the Edinburgh Ambassador Club. This club is one of 43 in the UK that provides disabled children and young people with a place to meet friends, develop life skills and gain confidence.
On their visit, Hazel and Rachel saw directly how clubs like this have had a positive impact on the lives of disabled Scottish young people. After an initial tour of the site's facilities, they got the opportunity to meet five new service users to the club and hear about their experiences. Whizz-Kidz provides wheelchairs to suit individual users and also offers specialised support services so these new participants certainly had a lot to be excited about.
Whizz-Kidz enables young people with disabilities to get together in a fun and relaxed environment. During their visit, Hazel and Rachel got their creative juices flowing and took part in an arts and crafts competition with the youngsters. They also helped the young participants to plan 'Come Dine With Me' menus for an upcoming Edinburgh meet.
Hazel had a wonderful day out at the youth club. "It was fantastic to visit the Whizz-Kidz Ambassador club in Edinburgh. Everyone had so much fun," she said. "It really is great to see how funding from players of People's Postcode Lottery is making a positive impact on the lives of young people. I look forward to the day when all disabled children and young people have access to local clubs and specialised wheelchairs so they can live their lives to the full."
Rachel added, "Spending time with Whizz-Kidz yesterday really opened my eyes to just how important it is for all kids of all abilities to have a fun and creative, full-of-laughter childhood. There shouldn't be any barriers to allow children to live their life, and Whizz-Kidz is ensuring that each child has the equipment and tools to do so. By hosting groups such as the one in Edinburgh yesterday, parents can drop off their children safe in the knowledge that they are surrounded by people who will support their individual needs, in a fairly unique social space."
Deputy Director of Fundraising at Whizz-Kidz, Andrew Howell, is thrilled with our players' ongoing support of projects like this. "We are so grateful to players of People's Postcode Lottery for this fantastic support," he said. "Because of their help, we are getting closer to reaching the estimated 70,000 disabled children and young people in the UK who are in vital need of a wheelchair that fits their lives."
Whizz-Kidz supports young disabled people and gives them access to the right mobility equipment, including powered wheelchairs, at the right time. Its experts also deliver wheelchair skills-training and work placements, helping disabled young people to gain life-skills to help their transition from childhood to adulthood.