Our Stories

Andrew and his therapy cat

“I was desperate for a suitable wheelchair for college, to help me be independent and get around easily”

21st January 2021 / Wheelchairs

Andrew, who is 16 years old, lives in Hampshire with his mum, granny and his 'therapy cat', Lucas. Andrew has Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) due to nerve damage caused by minor nail surgery. He struggles with intense, ongoing pain. Andrew also has Allodynia in his right foot, which means that he cannot bear any touch on it and cannot walk without using crutches or a wheelchair. Andrew had a basic, heavy, self-propelled wheelchair which he really struggled to manage, and he kept crashing into trees. He tells us: “I was desperate for a suitable wheelchair for college, that would help me to be independent and get around easily”. Thankfully, Variety was able to step in and fund a lightweight active wheelchair for him, which has made an enormous difference to his life.

Read this story
Stanley in his Tiny Trax wheelchair

"A new powered wheelchair from Variety has given us our fun-loving Stanley back!”

7th September 2020 / Wheelchairs

Stanley from Somerset is a vibrant, happy, bright seven-year-old who enjoys exploring the world and going out with his family. He has an undiagnosed neuromuscular condition that leaves him feeling increasingly fatigued as the day goes on. He also struggles to eat. To conserve his strength, he needs to use a wheelchair to get around. Since receiving a powered wheelchair from Variety, he has been getting up to all the types of mischief that a seven-year-old should be. Having a wheelchair that doesn’t make him feel tired means that Stanley can now take part in activities with his family, choosing either to lead or to follow.

Read this story
Rhys with his Variety car seat

"For Rhys to maintain a life, he needs a car seat" – Mum Sarah describes the crucial difference the right equipment from Variety has made

31st July 2020 / Grants

Rhys, who is 12 years old and lives in Herefordshire, has ataxic cerebral palsy, which affects his balance and coordination. He also has sensory neuropathy and progressive cerebellaratrophy. Because of his conditions, Rhys has 'wobbly', relaxed muscles, and this leaves him with poor balance and a lack of muscle control. To stop him from slipping around on car journeys, he needs to use a specialised postural car seat – an ordinary seat belt simply isn't enough keep him safe. However, Rhys had outgrown the car seat he had been using. It no longer gave him adequate support, which made car travel dangerous for him.  

Read this story
Alfie with his new powered wheelchair from Variety

Alfie discovers a new freedom with a powered wheelchair from Variety

21st July 2020 / Wheelchairs

Alfie, who is nine years old, lives with his family in Derbyshire. He has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, which means he is unable to walk and relies on a wheelchair to get around. Alfie had significantly outgrown his old powered wheelchair. After years of daily use, it was almost completely broken down. Variety stepped in and provided Alfie with a much bigger and more comfortable powered wheelchair, one that gives him proper postural support, greater convenience and a degree of independence that simply wasn’t possible before. Here, mum Emily describes the difference the new chair has made to Alfie and the whole family.

Read this story
Isabella jungle gym den entrance

Mum, Louise, shares how play equipment from Variety has helped improve Isabella’s sensory issues

30th June 2020 / Grants

Isabella is a lively six year-old girl who has autism, ADHD and a sensory processing disorder. She lives with her mum, Louise, and her twin sister, Lilianna, in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Isabella is a busy and active child, who loves jumping on a trampoline, swinging, running and dancing. However, because of her conditions, she experiences extreme anxiety and is prone to frustration, anger and outbursts when she is feeling overwhelmed. Isabella can have difficulty focusing and concentrating on academic work in mainstream school. She particularly struggles to learn phonics and numbers. To help provide relief for Isabella’s anxiety and emotional outbursts, Variety funded an outdoor combination jungle gym. Here, mum Louise shares the difference this has made to her daughter.

Read this story