A 14 year-old boy from Brighton, who suffers with Cerebral Palsy, was today presented with his very own powered wheelchair, courtesy of the CHIPS Charity and Genting Casino Brighton.
Nick Boyard, from Whitehawk in Brighton, has suffered with Cerebral Palsy since birth, a lifelong condition which significantly impairs his movement and coordination, and requires him to travel by wheelchair.
Up until this point, if Nick needed to move around, he required assistance from an adult who was capable of manually pushing his wheelchair for him. This meant that, wherever he went, Nick had to be accompanied by somebody else.
As well as his mother, Lisa, and father, Stephen, Nick also receives help from Teaching Assistants at his local school, Longhill High School. However, being reliant on his parents and teachers was beginning to take its toll on Nick:
“I struggle to make friends because I’m not able to go anywhere on my own” he said. “I always have to have someone with me. And every day someone comes up to me and moves me out of their way.”
At the end of 2017, Nick’s parents discovered that CHIPS – a charity founded on behalf of the Casino and Gaming Industry, which raises money to purchase specialised wheelchairs for young people with disabilities – were giving away a powered wheelchair to one lucky winner in the Brighton area.
After submitting an application on Nick’s behalf, Lisa and Stephen received a call to confirm that their son had been chosen, and that he would be awarded his very own state-of-the-art motorised chair worth £7,000.
Linda Lindsay, CHIPS Charity founder said, “We are delighted to present Nick with a gift that we have no doubt will change his life for the better. The chair will allow Nick to move around without relying on others, providing him with the independence that he deserves.”
The wheelchair was purchased with funds raised by ten employees at Genting UK who ran the Rock and Roll Madrid Marathon and Half Marathon in April. The £20,000 raised was donated to CHIPS and Nick – along with one other recipient - was selected as the worthy winner.
Stephen Boyard, Nick’s father said, “The whole family are all absolutely over the moon. Nick has always been very independent, and the new powered wheelchair will help provide him with some much needed freedom. It means he won’t have to depend on an adult pushing him everywhere he goes and will allow him to take trips into town with his twin brother.”
Tony Pearce, executive vice president, international marketing at Genting UK said, “This is the third year that Genting UK has raised money for CHIPS Charity. We are absolutely thrilled to be able to present Nick with his new wheelchair and we hope that it will make life slightly easier for him and his family.
“I would also like to say a huge thank you to every member of the Genting team who took part in runs, in order to raise the sum of money needed to purchase the chair. It is fantastic to see that all their hard work and dedication has paid off.”