Thanks to the joint fundraising efforts of customers and staff at Cashino Retford, 12-year-old Joshua Johns has been presented with a new wheelchair that will allow him to progress in his chosen sport – wheelchair tennis.
Cashino, which operates 171 adult gaming centres 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 with severe mobility problems.
Joshua, who lives in Derby with his parents, Nikki and Steven, suffers from Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy, however despite this he is a very talented wheelchair tennis player and is now competing at a high level.
Joshua’s mum, Nikki said: “Joshua is desperately in need of a specialist wheelchair for him to progress further in the sport he loves. Playing tennis has really helped with Joshua’s fitness, co-ordination, self-esteem and confidence. Last year he was chosen to represent England at the School Games, won his first doubles tournament in March, and followed that up with a win at the British Open in the consolation singles draw. This wheelchair will improve his mobility, speed and all-round performance, giving him the best opportunity to compete at the very highest level.”
Cashino Retford venue manager, Lyndsey Peatfield, said: “It’s so rewarding to know that our fundraising efforts are going to make such a huge difference to Joshua and his family’s life. He is such a lovely, friendly boy who thoroughly deserves this wheelchair.”
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. Cashino and parent company Praesepe have been amazing, and to date have donated £820,000 allowing CHIPS to provide more than 150 wheelchairs up and down the country.”
In total, CHIPS has raised around £2million and presented around 500 wheelchairs to children throughout the UK.