Patrick, aged 10, received a TILITE ZRA 2 manual lightweight, ultra-modern wheelchair from Variety thanks to the support of Veolia Water Technologies.

Patrick, known as PJ, was invited to meet some of the Veolia fundraisers at their office in High Wycombe to show off his new wheelchair and the difference it is making to his life. PJ and his younger brother demonstrated their pool skills.

Variety is Veolia’s designated charity in the UK and the local High Wycombe office wanted to see its fundraising efforts go back into the community and benefit a local child. PJ suffers from Hereditary Familial Spastic Paraparesis, which results in increased tone, reduced strength and a limited range of movement, especially in the legs. As a consequence, walking can be a huge struggle.

PJ looks to have a great sporting future ahead of him, having successfully ridden with the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) since he was three years old, winning the National Dressage competition in 2012 and playing wheelchair basketball at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

The local employees at Veolia in High Wycombe raised the money for Variety through various initiatives including: cakes sales and an auction of goods. So far they have raised £11,000 for the charity.

Katherine Packham, Human Resources of Veolia Water Technologies commented:

“Meeting PJ, and knowing that he now has the opportunity to continue in activities with his friends is a truly rewarding experience. Our staff are especially happy to have the opportunity to support local individuals and to meet them personally and see what a difference our fundraising is making”.

Fiona O’Donovan, Patrick’s mum, commented:

“Our whole family has benefitted from PJ getting his new wheelchair. We’ve been to Central London on the train and tube to meet up with friends. Previously we were limited to places I could drive to, and I hate driving into London!

PJ also went on a residential trip with his school where thanks to his wheelchair, he was able to join in every activity with his friends. We’re off on a hawk walk in a couple of weeks, which I’m sure will be a great success. We’re very much looking forward to a busy Summer doing lots of things that were just too difficult, either physically or logistically, before PJ got his new chair”.