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Alex’s Wish Gives £65,000 Funding Towards Innovative DREAM Wheelchair Project

Alex’s Wish Gives £65,000 Funding Towards Innovative DREAM Wheelchair Project

The Leicestershire-based Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy charity, Alex’s Wish, has given £65,000 towards Duchenne UK’s innovative DREAM chair initiative. In 2017, in partnership with Whizz-Kidz, the national charity Duchenne UK won a £1 million grant to develop a new wheelchair which is now at the working prototype stage.

Alex’s Wish helps to co-fund ground-breaking medical research, clinical trials and innovative technologies alongside Duchenne UK as their Charity Partner to improve the lives of children and young adults living with Duchenne.

Led by Duchenne UK, the next stage of the project is to develop a business plan for the DREAM Wheelchair to explore all the options on how we can bring the chair to market at an affordable price, which will ultimately improve quality of life for wheelchair users.

Alex’s Wish has given £40,000 to the project, with a further £20,000 provided by St. James’s Place Charitable Foundation; £5,000 by The Brothers Trust (a foundation set up by Tom Holland’s parents, Nikki and Dom Holland, to shine a light on charities who struggle to be heard), as well as funding from With Love Steph (a foundation established to provide grants to help children and children’s charities created by her husband and close family members. Named in honour of and as a legacy to Steph, after she tragically passed away from a brain tumour in January 2021.)

Emma Hallam, CEO of Alex’s Wish and mum to 16-year-old Alex, who lives with Duchenne, said: “For children and young people like Alex, using a wheelchair makes all the difference to their independence. Despite huge advances in technology in almost every area of life, the design and functionality of wheelchairs has changed little in 15 years.

“Getting up a kerb, seeing what is behind you, even having somewhere to put your phone – things the rest of us barely notice in our lives – are major tasks for young wheelchair users. The DREAM Wheelchair project is designed to bring wheelchairs into the 21st century, transforming young lives.

“We’re extremely grateful to all our wonderful supporters and to The St. James’s Place Charitable Foundation and The Brothers Trust – whose generosity had enabled us to contribute to this important project. We very much look forward to receiving updates from Duchenne UK on the project’s progress over the coming months.”

Alex’s Wish supporters were able to see the prototype in action at their Annual Supporters Lunch last month.

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