Thanks to the joint fundraising efforts of customers and staff at Cashino Southampton, local 10-year old Alexandra Cooper-Barnes has been presented with a new lightweight wheelchair with a special ‘buddy button’ feature that will help provide some independence and allow for greater learning, socialisation and leisure.
Cashino, which operates 176 adult gaming centres across the country, is one of the main fundraisers for CHIPS, a charity set up on behalf of the gaming industry, which aims to provide specialised powered wheelchairs for children with severe mobility problems.
Alex, who lives with her mum Charlene and dad John, in Eastleigh, suffers from Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy – a condition that affects both movement and co-ordination, which means she does not have fine motor skills and is unable to self-propel or sit without supporting seating.
Alex’s mum, Charlene said: “As a family we could not be more thankful to Cashino for this amazing opportunity. My daughter is now able to control the wheelchair by herself through a ‘buddy button’ feature, operated by elbow depression.”
“Every child wants some independence and this allows Alex just that. Having these new features on the wheelchair, means she can get about that bit better on her own. It has really helped her self-esteem as she is able to do it herself rather than have myself, her dad or her carer always in control.”
Cashino Southampton’s venue manager, Agata Sajdlowska, said: “It’s so rewarding to see that our fundraising efforts are going to make such a huge difference to Alex and her family’s life. She is such a lovely, 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. Cashino and parent company Praesepe have been amazing and to date have donated a massive £650,000 allowing CHIPS to provide 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.