15/04/2019

Powered Wheelchairs Now Available For Young Children In NI

Families in Northern Ireland can now access free powered wheelchairs for children with disabilities thanks to a new charity partnership.

The Mae Murray Foundation has teamed up with the UK assistive technology charity Designability to provide Wizzybugs to disabled children under five. The powered chairs are suitable for home, outdoor or pre-school use and are often utilised by children living 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.

The Wizzybugs are available through a loan scheme funded by charitable donations which means that families can have them for as long as their child can benefit at no charge.
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Alex Leach, Early Years Powered Mobility Manager at Designability, said: "We have wanted to extend the reach of the Wizzybug Loan Scheme to families in Northern Ireland for some time and we are so pleased to be partnering with the Mae Murray Foundation, an inspiring charity based in Larne, to finally get there.

"I am so looking forward to seeing the first child in Northern Ireland enjoying their independence with a Wizzybug!"

The Wizzybug Loan Scheme is open to disabled children aged between 14 months and five years. The only real eligibility criteria is that a child is in need of greater independence, mobility and freedom.

Alix Crawford, Chairperson at the Mae Murray Foundation, said: "As a 'lived experience' and membership led charity, we are delighted to be able to respond to requests from families to introduce Wizzybug in Northern Ireland. Championing another 'first' for the province, by linking with the experienced professionals at Designability, we can't wait to see the impact this will make."



(JG/CM)

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