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Wheels of Joy for Katie

Wheels of Joy for Katie

There were smiles all round for a special young lady and her family in Belfast, as Variety Ireland delivered their first special mobility trike in Northern Ireland to young Katie from Lisburn.

Katie, who has Down Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy, could not contain her excitement as her brand-new special mobility trike was presented to her by Variety Ireland director Rachelle Gaskell and Miss Dublin, Ciara Whelan.

Previously, Katie who is wheelchair bound, was restricted from doing the basic things most children enjoy, such as riding a trike outside of the home. Now, with the help of Variety Ireland, she has received her specially designed mobility trike that is designed to allow Katie to enjoy fun days out with the rest of her family.

Katie’s parents Johnny and Ann Marie were delighted as the new trike was unveiled, and it wasn’t long before the 15 year old was zipping around the park on her new trike.

Johnny and Ann Marie explained “Our daughter Katie who has Down Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy has been wanted a big girl bike for ages. Unfortunately, they are not funded by the NHS as they are deemed to be a luxury item.” It broke our hearts as she was restricted from doing certain outside activities in her wheelchair, which at times was a struggle to manoeuvre on rough ground.”

“We would like to thank all the team at Variety Ireland for their help and commitment in supplying Katie with her new trike. She loves the outdoors, and her new trike has opened up so many different opportunities that now allows her to enjoy activities with the family that she was unable to do before her trike. This is going to be great in helping her improve both her physical and all of our own well-being being. It allows us to get outdoors and do activities as a family together.”

Director of Variety Ireland, Rachelle Gaskell said; ”it is our pleasure to give the gift of mobility that promotes physical and mental well-being to this wonderful young lady. As a charity that has no paid directors and doesn’t receive any regular government funding, we ensure that all donations and sponsorship money raised by the charity goes directly to helping and providing essential mobility and educational equipment to children with disabilities across the island of Ireland that is not available through government or NHS funding here in Northern Ireland”

As part of Variety Ireland’s sustainability policy, Katie will hand her trike back to the charity once she has outgrown it and it will then be passed onto another child for the same enjoyment. Not only does this save the charity money in having to keep purchasing new trikes which are very expensive, but it also ensures they do not reach harmful landfill sites after use.

This is the first special mobility trike we have given to a child in Northern Ireland, and we hope is the first of many. It’s an absolute joy to see Katie on her new trike. We at the Variety family in Ireland hope that she, her family and friends have many happy years of happiness exploring our beautiful country!