Christmas has arrived early for eleven-year-old Alex Costin, who suffers from Cerebral Palsy. The youngster has been presented with a special customised wheelchair to boost his mobility, thanks to the joint fundraising efforts of customers and staff at Cashino on Market Precinct in Cradley Heath.
Cashino, which operates 170 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 his mum Karen, dad Lee, and eight-year-old sister Phoebe, is severely affected by his condition. He tires easily which means he is only able to walk very short distances.
Dad Lee said: “We will be forever thankful to Cashino and CHIPS for sorting Alex out with a new wheelchair faster than we could provide one. My son is a bright boy and he is due to start secondary school next year. This chair arrived just in time!”
He added: “He wants to fulfil a normal life, and his chair will help him do just that – give him a new lease of life where he can be more social and outgoing. He will now be able to participate in wheelchair sports such as basketball and rugby, interact with his friends and go out with the family.”
Cashino’s venue manager, Lilian Atkin, said: “We are glad we could provide this chair to such a bubbly boy like Alex. He can get used to his new chair over the Christmas break and then take it back to school next term. On behalf of everyone at Cashino Cradley Heath, we hope Alex enjoys his new chair.”
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 £500,000 allowing CHIPS to provide 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.