Read some of the most frequently asked questions about Whizz-Kidz, the services we provide for young disabled people and our work with the NHS. If you have another question you'd like to ask us, please get in touch using our contact us page.
You can also read our frequently asked questions on finance.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Whizz-Kidz?
We are the experts who can meet the individual needs of young disabled people by providing the right mobility equipment, skills training and opportunities to meet and have fun. Our core belief is that every young disabled person has the right to a fun and active childhood, and the chance to develop their full potential.
How does Whizz-Kidz help disabled children and young people?
Whizz-Kidz provides disabled children and young people with vital mobility equipment, opportunities to meet and have fun, and training to help them gain skills and look forward to a bright future.
Does Whizz-Kidz just provide equipment?
Giving a disabled child a wheelchair is just the start of the journey with Whizz-Kidz. We also give young disabled people the chance to meet, have fun and gain new skills through our Young People's Services. Young people can:
- Have fun and make friends, learn new skills, and create campaigns at one of 45 local Ambassador Clubs across the UK.
- Gain new skills through work placements with a range of employers.
- Gain more independence through learning how to be more in control of their wheelchair, with the Wheelchair Skills Training scheme.
- Build up confidence and knowledge with our Skillz for Life training – delivered online and at Ambassador Clubs.
- Have short breaks with Camp Whizz-Kidz, our three day residential camp, which includes life skills sessions, wheelchair skills training and an awards ceremony to recognise the achievements the young people have made over the three-day camp.
- Develop vital leadership, decision-making and teamwork skills through the Young Leaderz programme.
How many disabled children has Whizz-Kidz supported with mobility equipment?
Since 1990 we’ve transformed the lives of more than 18,000 disabled children and young people.
Does Whizz-Kidz have a waiting list of children?
Due to the demand for mobility equipment – and the fact that appropriate powered and lightweight manual wheelchairs are not always available from the NHS – Whizz-Kidz will always have a waiting list. The time children have to wait varies depending on the priority of the case and voluntary funds available, and we do everything in our power to provide equipment as quickly as possible to those who need it. We are also implementing new ways of working that mean more and more children assessed by our therapists are able to take away the equipment they need on the day they are assessed (‘Child in a Chair in a Day’).
Do you recycle old wheelchairs?
Whizz-Kidz is an environmentally friendly charity and we recycle wheelchairs that children have grown out of wherever possible – refurbishing and redistributing them in some cases. However, they need to be on a current provision list – we aren’t able to recycle wheelchairs we don’t provide, very old chairs, or NHS equipment.
What does Whizz-Kidz do to ensure it gets the very best deal buying wheelchairs?
Whizz-Kidz works hard to drive the costs of wheelchairs down. We’ve introduced smart buying processes and have significantly reduced the costs over time. We operate a product matrix – continuously reviewing, monitoring and improving the supply chain, so we can secure the best price possible.
Don’t families get what they need already on the NHS?
Sometimes they do, but they often aren’t given appropriate equipment to fit all their needs, and NHS areas apply eligibility criteria in varying ways so families will have different experiences depending on where they live. It’s been reported that the average NHS waiting time for a powered chair is two years or more – and there is no guarantee that children will receive a powered chair in many areas. Reports have also shown that the average NHS waiting time for a lightweight manual chair is one and a half years or more.
So how does Whizz-Kidz work differently from the NHS?
Whizz-Kidz receives all its referrals for wheelchairs from the NHS. But the approach we take is more holistic. Our therapists assess disabled children and young people so we can give them an appropriate wheelchair to fit their young lives. With their new independence, children can enjoy school, play with their friends, and no longer need to be pushed around by parents, siblings or teachers.
Is Whizz-Kidz in competition with the NHS?
Whizz-Kidz is a collaborator with the NHS and not a competitor. In fact, Whizz-Kidz works in partnership with the NHS to deliver wheelchair services in 11 areas, reaching more children and young people, quickly, with the right equipment. An independent report by Frontier Economics confirmed that Whizz-Kidz helps our NHS partners to deliver better wheelchairs, faster, and reduces costs by up to 60%. We are keen to collaborate with the NHS as widely as possible, to transform wheelchair services through expertise, innovation and an unrelenting focus on the children we serve. Whizz-Kidz aims to use the opportunity Choice and Competition represents to keep improving wheelchair services around the country.