Chichester schoolgirl receives life changing gift

Leah Weller with her family, Genting UK and CHIPS staff.

A five-year-old girl from Chichester has been presented with a brand-new powered wheelchair courtesy of CHIPS Charity and Genting UK at Genting Casino Southampton.

Leah Weller, who lives at home with her parents and sister and attends St. Richards Catholic Primary School has a diagnosis of Mitochondrial Disease which means that she is unable to walk or stand unaided as the condition leaves her too weak. As a result of the condition, Leah needs a specialist powered wheelchair to allow her to move around independently.

Up until now Leah has been using a powered wheelchair but it does not give her the correct support and is too small for her needs.

However, Leah has now been presented with a new powered wheelchair, with a hi/lo function, that allows her to adjust the height of the seat herself. This new chair will provide Leah with improved mobility and enable her to get around easier at school and raise herself up to any height requirements herself, making it easier for her to interact with her friends and classmates. In addition, the all-terrain wheels mean she will be able to access the school sports facilities and areas of the village where she lives.

Claudia Weller, Leah’s mum, said: “Leah and I would like to say thank you to Genting UK, CHIPS Charity and the marathon runners for raising funds and presenting Leah with this new powered wheelchair.

“Having this wheelchair means so much to her. It offers her a level of comfort and additional features that will change her life for the better. She spends many hours in her chair, and it will give us all peace of mind knowing that she is more comfortable and independent. The impact that this will have on Leah’s life is huge and we are so grateful for everyone’s generosity.”

The powered wheelchair was purchased with funds raised by employees at Genting UK who ran the Rock n Roll San Diego Marathon and Half Marathon in June 2018. £50,000 was raised in total by five runners from Genting Casino UK and the money was donated to CHIPS – CHIPS was founded on behalf of the UK Gaming industry, in order to raise funds to purchase specialised powered wheelchairs for youngsters with varying disabilities.

Jon Duffy, Director of Corporate Assurance and Regulatory Affairs at Genting UK, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be able to present Leah with this brand-new chair and it is wonderful to know that it will have such a positive impact on her life. “I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you Irene Nuqui and rest of the team for all the effort they have put into raising money for such a worthy charity.”

Linda Lindsay, CHIPS Charity co-founder said, “We have been working with Genting for a number of years and I want to thank them for all of their continued hard work and support. They have done an incredible job and helped to change many young lives across the UK for the better.”