Please be aware that the coronavirus pandemic is having an impact on Variety's funding process, and applications for grants are likely to be delayed. You can still submit your application as usual, and we will respond as quickly as we can to confirm we have received it. If you have already submitted an application, or had one approved recently, your funding may be significantly delayed. In all instances, our grants team will endeavour to keep you informed at every stage. We appreciate your understanding and patience at this time.

Please note that we are currently only funding sports wheelchairs in exceptional circumstances.

Please also note that, due to the pandemic and its effects on fundraising, we are not currently accepting applications from organisations for equipment or wheelchair grants. Our Sunshine Coach programme remains unaffected. We would also advise individual applicants that, due to the pandemic, we have less control over timeframes, making it difficult for us in certain circumstances  to team up with other charities to co-fund equipment grants and wheelchairs. We do, of course, welcome contributions from applicants towards the equipment where possible. This situation will hopefully change within the next six-to-nine months, so please watch this space for future updates. 

When statutory funding isn’t available and your financial resources don’t go far enough, Variety is here to help.

We know that getting the right wheelchair can be complicated and that’s why we part-and-fully fund manual, powered and sports wheelchairs in order to give you the flexibility you need. We fund wheelchairs for any purpose, provided they are not available through your local authority wheelchair services.


At a glance...

  • On average, Variety funds a wheelchair every 5 days.
  • Our average wheelchair grant is £5,000, but we consider applications for any amount.
  • Around half of the wheelchairs that Variety provides are sports wheelchairs.
  • Over 4,300 children and young people have benefited from a Variety wheelchair grant.

We provide:

  • Lightweight manual wheelchairs that fit in the boot of your car but still enable the user to develop the ability to self-propel if they wish to
  • Powered wheelchairs which enable children and young people to get around more easily at school and keep up with their friends
  • Standing wheelchairs which offer greater independence and reduce the risk of secondary complications associated with prolonged sitting in wheelchairs
  • All-terrain wheelchairs for children who love the outdoors
  • Sports wheelchairs, both manual and powered, so that young people can progress to the top of their game - we fund all types of sports wheelchairs.

All of the wheelchairs that Variety provides are bespoke in order to meet the needs of the user. We have no preferred suppliers but use the supplier of your choice instead. This means that you will get exactly what you need.


You are eligible to apply for a wheelchair grant provided that the beneficiary:

  • Is a child or young person aged 18 or under
  • Has a recognised disability or long term health condition
  • Is permanently resident in the UK

Non-profit sports clubs working with children and young people are also eligible to apply for sports wheelchairs for use at the club.

Applying for a Grant

Applying to Variety for help is straightforward. You can submit an application at any time by sending us:

  • Your completed application form which can be downloaded below
  • A letter of support from a relevant healthcare professional (such as an occupational therapist, physiotherapist or paediatrician)
  • A quote for the equipment you are applying for from the supplier that you wish to use (sometimes we need two quotes but we’ll let you know if that applies to your application)
  • For sports wheelchairs only, a letter of support from your sports club outlining the applicant's commitment to the sport and their regular participation.

Your application will be passed on to one of our volunteers to be assessed. Each application is assessed on its own merit and will take into account your financial situation, the frequency with which the wheelchair will be used, how any maintenance costs will be covered, how safely the wheelchair will be stored and the impact that it will have on the child or young person. We never make cash grants, but will liaise directly with your supplier to arrange delivery straight to your door.

How to apply

For more information, or to discuss a speculative application, give our grants team a call on 0207 428 8100 or email wheelchairs@variety.org.uk