Parents of 33 year old support #Team20 campaign
The parents of a 33-year-old woman from Talke, in Staffordshire, are urging the public to get behind a charity’s 20th anniversary campaign after it supported their daughter 20 years ago.
Caudwell Children, the national charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families, has launched its #Team20 campaign to celebrate its foundation in 2000, and throughout 2020 it’s encouraging people to engage with the charity in a number of ways.
Bosses at the charity say they want people to take part in fundraising events, volunteer for the charity, or raise awareness of Caudwell Children’s services as part of the #Team20 team campaign.
Faye Johnson was born with cerebral palsy, a condition that stiffens the muscles and restricts mobility, and it’s left her a permanent wheelchair user.
When she was 13-years-old Faye needed a new powered wheelchair after she’d outgrown her first wheelchair, which she’d received at the age of 6.
“People assume that if you have a disability you are given all the equipment that you need,” said Faye’s mother Sylvia, aged 60. “But that’s simply not the case and we were desperate to get Faye a new powered wheelchair that would continue to help develop her confidence and independence.”
Unfortunately, the wheelchair that best suited Faye’s needs cost several thousand pounds and Sylvia, and her husband Paul, aged 58, had resigned themselves to being unable to buy a new wheelchair for Faye.
Then a friend told them about Caudwell Children and the financial support that they give to disabled children’s families.
“I contacted the charity and they sent me out an application form which I immediately completed,” said Paul. “We couldn’t believe it when they agreed to fund the powered wheelchair, we were simply overwhelmed.”
Sylvia says that the new wheelchair opened up a whole new world for her daughter. As she exclaimed: “She was able to play with her younger brother and sister, she could travel over uneven surfaces on what had previously been tricky terrain, and she was able to get involved in outdoor activities.
“It’s safe to say that without the new powered wheelchair Faye would have become a prisoner in her own home.”
The new chair allowed Faye to flourish and her growing confidence and independence helped her to develop academically, and in 2009 she graduated from Staffordshire University with a degree in Journalism and Media.
“As an adult my powered wheelchair has allowed me to remain extremely busy and it has been vital in helping me achieve my ambitions,” said Faye. “I have a seven-year-old assistance dog dog called Odile and she’s beautiful.
“But more importantly she does so much for me, from opening doors, switching the lights on and off, passing me my clothes and putting laundry into the washing basket.
“She even picks up and passes me my mobile phone, and the remote control for the television, if I drop them.
“Because of this I do a lot of work for Canine Partners, the charity that trains the amazing assistance dogs like Odile.
“I do talks at schools, scout groups and the like, telling them about how I’m able to remain independent and I also discuss issues around accessibility.”
Faye is also a Trustee at Our Space, a charity that provides social and recreational opportunities for children and adults with disabilities.
“I use my media skills to write press releases for the charity and I also manage their social media platforms,” enthused Faye. “I’m also Secretary of the charity, and I feel extremely privileged to hold this position.”
Whilst Faye loves nothing more than staying in and watching all the ‘Soaps’ on television her powered wheelchair also gives her the mobility needed to enjoy going out for meals, visiting the cinema and walking her dog.
Paul says that Caudwell Children’s support benefited the whole family. As he explained: “Faye’s independence meant that she could look after herself more often, allowing me and Sylvia to get out and do the shopping or do other errands.
“We can’t thank Caudwell Children enough for all their support and they have been instrumental in Faye’s move to her own bungalow in Talke.
“She has carers, and Odile the dog of course, to assist her but she’s leading an independent life now and a large part of that is down to Caudwell Children’s support with the powered wheelchair.”
Sylvia and the family are wholeheartedly supporting the charity’s #Team20 campaign. As she concluded: “We know first-hand how important the charity is to disabled children and their families and we know how difficult it is to raise the funds that they need to continue their invaluable work.
“They need people fundraising for them 52 weeks a year so I would urge people to get involved.
“Unless you have been in the position that we and others have been in you don’t appreciate how much hard work goes into the charity, so please support them.”
Trudi Beswick, CEO of Caudwell Children, is delighted by the family’s appeal. She said: “It only seems like yesterday when we agreed to fund Faye’s powered wheelchair.
“She’s come such a long way over the last 20 years and it’s wonderful to see how she’s developed.
“With the public’s help we can support even more disabled children and young people.
“You can get sponsored to run 20 miles, bake 20 cakes to sell at work, volunteer for us for 20 hours, or you could do a sponsored 20-minute static cycle ride to join our #Team20.
“Whatever it takes I want people to get involved in this campaign in what is a very special year for the charity.”
For more information on how you can get involved in Caudwell Children’s #Team20 campaign visit teh web page here.