A nine year old disabled girl from Denton in Manchester has been given a custom-made, state–of- the-art, powered wheelchair to help boost her mobility, thanks to fundraising by staff at the head office of Praesepe in Milton Keynes. Lucy Williams has cerebral palsy, a condition which has affected all four of her limbs, leaving her unable to stand or walk independently and always needing the support of an adult. Although she currently has a powered wheelchair it is restrictive as it does not allow her outdoor movement on difficult terrain, leaving Lucy unable to have the independence every young girl should have.
The new specially customised electric wheelchair, which has been designed to accommodate Lucy’s very special seating requirements, was presented to her at Praesepe head office on Seebeck Place, Milton Keynes, yesterday (Monday 1 September) and will allow her to engage effectively in activities with her family. Praesepe, which operates 155 Cashino adult gaming centres and 9 Beacon Bingo halls across the UK, is one of the main fundraisers for CHIPS, a charity set up on behalf of the casino and gaming industry which aims to provide specialised powered wheelchairs for children with severe mobility problems.
Lucie lives with her parents Kerry and Matt along with her two siblings Samuel and Briony. Commenting on the day, Lucie’s mother Kerry said: “We are so grateful to everyone for Lucie’s new chair, this will enable her to go out with her friends and have much more independence around school and in general life.”
Nick Harding, Praesepe CEO, added: “It’s been a great experience to see how much joy this wheelchair has brought to Lucy and her family – the chair will be a great help to her and will give her the independence that she needs. Hopefully the chair will stand Lucy in good stead for many years to come. The fundraising effort from all of our staff and customers throughout our estate has been certainly well worth it.”
Co-founder of the CHIPS charity Linda Lindsay said: “It is so important for CHIPS that our donors see the results of their hard work. Praesepe have been exceptional in their fundraising efforts and have raised £100,000 in the last 12 months, which has helped CHIPS provide (how many) powered wheelchairs to children up and down the country, we can’t thank them enough.”
To date CHIPS has raised over £1,000,000 and presented over 400 wheelchairs to children up and down the country.