Thanks to CHIPS Charity and the joint fundraising efforts of customers and staff at Cashino Northampton in Northamptonshire, eight-year-old Amelia Twardowska is in celebratory mood, having been presented with a brand new powered wheelchair, which will give her more independence and allow her to spend more time with her friends.
Cashino, which operates 160 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.
Amelia lives in Northampton with her mum and dad, Anna & Pawel, and has a cervical spinal cord injury, the most severe of all spinal cord injuries. This has led to general low postural tone and muscle weakness below the injury. This led to Amelia having spinal rod surgery in 2015.
Amelia’s mum, Anna, said: “Due to her condition, Amelia had to be pushed around in her manual wheelchair as she could only self-propel short distances on flat terrain, which really had restricted her independence. She can also only stand with a fully motorised standing frame, which she has to be hoisted into. This new powered wheelchair will change her life as she will be able to move around independently, be with her friends, and, thanks to its ‘hi/lo’ function she’ll be able to reach higher surfaces such as tables herself and even be able to talk eye to eye with family and friends. .
Cashino Northampton venue manager, Alan, said: “It’s such a proud moment to know that our fundraising efforts are going to make such a huge difference to Amelia and her family’s life. She’s such a lovely, friendly and intelligent girl who thoroughly deserves this powered wheelchair.”
One of the co-founders of 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 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.