11-year old Bethany Blowers has been presented with a tailored powered wheelchair by the CHIPS charity thanks to the joint fundraising efforts of staff and customers at Beacon Bingo Lowestoft.
Beacon Bingo, which operates eight bingo halls across the country, 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 wheelchairs for children and young people with severe mobility problems.
Bethany, who lives with her mum Angela, and sister younger Marney in Lowestoft, suffers from a connective tissue disorder, Rheumatoid arthritis and Glaucoma, which means she is blind in one eye and has tunnel vision in the other. Up until now Bethany had a manual wheelchair, but due to how heavy it is she found it extremely difficult to manoeuvre and self-propel.
Bethany’s mum Angela said: “We couldn’t be more thankful to both Beacon Bingo and CHIPS for the powered wheelchair. As Bethany is going to high school in September, and the campus is so large this will help her a huge amount as she really would have struggled her old manual chair.”
Beacon Bingo’s venue manager, Gary Holmes, said: “It’s so rewarding to see that our fundraising efforts are going to make such a huge difference to Bethany and her family’s life. She is such an optimistic girl and we are just happy that we can help out.”
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 and we try to ensure that all the recipients are local to where the funds have been raised. Beacon Bingo and parent company Praesepe have been amazing and to date have donated a massive £650,000 allowing CHIPS, providing more than 120 powered wheelchairs up and down the country.”
In total, CHIPS has raised over £1,750,000 and presented around 500 wheelchairs to children throughout the UK.