Match of the day! Beacon Bingo’s personalised wheelchair allows local boy to play powerchair football

Thanks to the joint fundraising efforts of customers and staff at Beacon Bingo Redcar, football mad seven-year-old, Cohen Cartwright has been presented with a special powered wheelchair that will not only boost his mobility, but allow him to continue playing for his beloved Middlesbrough Powerchair FC.

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.

Cohen, who lives with his mum Laura, dad James and young brother Indie, in Redcar, suffers from Cockayne Syndrome – a rare and serious condition which affects his stature and global development.

Cohen’s mum, Laura said: “Me and James are extremely thankful to Beacon Bingo and CHIPS for the new wheelchair. Cohen is a very active little boy but due to his condition, he is unable to play regular sports. He is passionate about football, so when we found out about Middlesbrough Powerchair Football Club, we knew he’d want to join.”

“For the past two years, the club and the sport has helped my son improve his life, but unfortunately, he was being held back as the chair he was using, which belonged to the club, was no longer suitable for his needs. Thanks to Beacon Bingo he will now be able to develop his football skills and, more importantly, enhance his quality of life.”

Beacon Bingo’s general manager, Rocky Richmond, said: “It’s so rewarding to see that our fundraising efforts are going to make such a huge difference to Cohen and his family’s life. He is such a positive boy 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 £500,000 allowing CHIPS, providing more than 100 powered wheelchairs up and down the country.”

In total, CHIPS has raised over £1,500,000 and presented over 450 wheelchairs to children throughout the UK.

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