Mum’s mission to create a wheelchair friendly club for daughter

Mum to a daughter in a wheelchair created the Wheelie Gang to give her the experience she was missing at school.

 
Playmobil wheelchair
Credit: Playmobil
The BBC recently reported a story about Mum, Emma, making a positive change for her own daughter and many other children who are wheelchair users. Evie had no friends her own age in wheelchairs, she said: “I don’t have any friends in wheelchairs at my school. Some people don't know how it feels to be in a wheelchair” no one else was experiencing life as she was. Mum Emma said: “I made a promise to her that I’d find her some friends in wheelchairs”, and so the Wheelie Gang was created. It started as an after school club at their local community centre in Greenwich as a disability-friendly sports and crafts activity space. It was a place for them to create their own versions of games that they are able to participate in from dodge ball to painting, with an emphasis on fun and inclusion. Emma said: “I think it can be quite isolating for kids [in wheelchairs]” as at school most children play one game, run around and go off to play another game. Not only has Evie found so many new friends but her confidence has grown. She said: “It just means everything to me to have this opportunity to at least meet other people and experience how it feels and experience meeting other people in wheelchairs.” Having watched Evie blossom and seen the huge difference it has made to her life, Emma wants to expand the Wheelie Gang across the capital. She said: “The amount of children who should be able to access something like this is in the thousands...across the whole of London.” Emma, along with many of the other Wheelie Gang parents said that it’s all their children talk about it all week, how they “can’t wait to come back”. So not only has the Wheelie Gang been an incredibly positive experience for children in wheelchairs, other family members are feeling the benefits too.
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