The Chester-based charity Children Today is in with a chance of securing significant funding of up to £25,000 – but needs your votes to help make it happen.
The charity was nominated to receive a grant from the Aviva Community Fund by Chester-based Risk Services (NW) Ltd for its ‘Going Places’ project which aims to help change the lives of young people with disabilities by making education more accessible through the provision of specialised equipment.
With specialised car seats which can help a child get to school easily costing around £600 and power packs to convert a NHS wheelchair costing anything up to around £4,000, many families and young people cannot afford to buy such expensive equipment themselves and need charity support.
One young person who received funding from Children Today for equipment is Ellis, a young man with cerebral palsy, who now lives in Barcelona.
Ellis needed a bespoke lightweight electric wheelchair to enable him to take up a place at university and access public transport without the need for a carer.
Ellis said: “Had I not received the grant from Children Today, I would have struggled to successfully move around university and travel by myself as I would have been stuck with a heavy-duty wheelchair that was not specialised for me and was inadequate for my needs.
“Getting around my own house was difficult in a heavy-duty chair, so the lightweight chair allowed me to go out with friends without having to think about the impossibility of climbing stairs with a heavyweight chair. It also meant I could access public transport more easily and travel and study abroad without the headache of having to leave my chair for long periods of time as it was unsuitable.”
If Children Today is lucky enough to receive the £25,000 Aviva funding, the charity will match it with a further £25,000 dedicated to this campaign to support more children and young people like Ellis whose inclusion in education is limited by their mobility needs.
By contributing in part, or fully, to the cost of equipment, Children Today and Aviva can provide a minimum of 20 grants over the course of the year to increase access to more inclusive education for more children and young people with the added benefit of more social inclusion.
Children Today chief executive Ben Partridge said: “Mobility is essential to the development of capacity and independence and young people with disabilities need mobility to access training, further education and employment.
“We receive many applications from young people who cannot access further education or jobs because their wheelchairs are beyond repair and they don’t have the same eligibility for financial support when they reach 18 year old.
“We also hear from the parents of children who are unable to get around their schools or can’t get their wheelchairs under a desk.
“We believe education should be accessible to all and if we were awarded an Aviva Community Foundation grant it would enable us to fund more children and young people to meet their full potential, helping them to ‘go places’.”
Anyone who lives in the UK and registers on the Aviva Community Fund website can submit ten votes until November 21.
To vote visit www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/voting/project/view/17-4102.