Thanks to the joint fundraising efforts of customers and staff at Cashino Hessle in Hull, seven-year-old Joel Wilkinson has been presented with a brand new powered wheelchair by CHIPS Charity, which will enable his family to take him out on trips, and give him more independence.
Cashino, which operates 168 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 provides specialised wheelchairs for children with severe mobility problems.
Joel, who lives in Hull with his parents, Emma and Chris, and two younger siblings Phoebe and Alex, suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy – a genetic disorder that causes muscle degeneration and weakness.
Joel’s mum,Emma, said: “Due to his condition, Joel needs steroids to give him as much mobility as possible, for as long as possible. However, he’s very prone to bone fractures, weight gain and mood / behaviour changes. This means he needs regular monitoring, and is also awaiting an assessment for autism. Although Joel can walk short distances, he tires very quickly so this new, powered wheelchair from CHIPS and Cashino will make a real difference to both his life, and our family’s.
Cashino Hessle venue manager, Lyndsey Sullivan, said: “It’s such a proud moment to know that our fundraising efforts are going to make such a huge difference to Joel and his family’s life. He’s such a lovely, friendly and intelligent boy who thoroughly deserves this powered 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 £1.2 million allowing CHIPS to provide more than 150 wheelchairs up and down the country.”
In total CHIPS has raised more than £2.2 million to date and presented over 520 wheelchairs to children throughout the UK.