Wheelchair Skills Workshop
In February a grant of £1,500 was awarded to Go Kids Go! for a wheelchair skills workshop which took place on Sunday 10th March 2019 in the sports hall at Woodchurch High School. The workshop was once again very well attended, with some young people attending for the very first time, whilst other participants had attended 10+ workshops!! The workshop was fully inclusive, and all parents, carers and siblings are actively encouraged to stay and join in. A large stock of spare wheelchairs are transported to the workshops and all family members are able to spend the day in a wheelchair, learning wheelchair skills.
The children ranged in age from just 5 years old up to 18 years of age and all were ready to become independently mobile and not be reliant on parents/carers to push them around. The families came from across the Wirral including Birkenhead, Port Sunlight, Heswall and Eastham.
During the day the children and young people are taught a range of independent mobility skills in their wheelchairs including:-
- Learning how to tackle a kerb in a wheelchair, by doing a ‘wheelie’
- How to cope safely with slopes in a wheelchair
- How to attempt to ascend a set of stairs in a wheelchair
- How to open and close a door in a wheelchair
- Emergency evacuation procedure using an emergency evacuation chair
As well as vital mobility skills, participants played lots of fun activities including wheelchair basketball, wheelchair British bulldog and a wheelchair dance, which are always hugely popular parts of the workshops.
The wheelchair skills workshop has made a huge difference to local children who are wheelchair users. They have become proficient in using their wheelchair independently and are no longer reliant on parents and carers to push them around. This newfound independence greatly increases their self-confidence and self-esteem and they are also able to take part in mainstream activities with their non-disabled peers.
Parents and siblings also benefit, as they are able to spend a full day in a wheelchair and take part in all the activities with their child. This ‘inclusiveness’ helps to break down barriers and also allows parents to appreciate how difficult it is to self-propel a wheelchair.
However, the real benefit can be best illustrated through feedback received from families who attended the Birkenhead workshop:-
“This is the first time that we have attended a workshop and we had a brilliant day, it was really good fun and we all enjoyed learning new skills, thank you”.
“My daughter, Rosie, has been attending Go Kids Go workshops in Merseyside since she was 3 years old and her wheelchair skills have vastly improved over the years, largely helped by these workshops. Today, was her 20th workshop! We thoroughly recommend it to all families and support it!”