In Peterborough, UK seven teens have decided to make a difference with an unusual fundraiser - getting sponsored to participate in service projects while using a wheelchair. Over the past five days they've spent a combined 75 hours in wheelchairs, raising money and awareness for local charity Shopmobility. Founded in 1990, Shopmobility lends transport chairs, power wheelchairs and powered scooters to local residents who need mobility aids to get to the store.
"It made sense to be sponsored to use a wheelchair for a long time as we would experience life in a similar way to those people with mobility issues would," says Daniel Pharoah, 17.
While in the wheelchairs, the teens worked on a variety of service projects throughout the city. One included making lunch and serving it to local seniors, many of whom used walking aids themselves. Other projects included painting a youth club, supporting a local conversation charity and helping out at community gardens.
Several of the teens found working from a wheelchair harder than expected. According to 16-year-old Alice Willis, "This experience has been a real eye opener; I have found it frustrating at times getting around and sometimes being ignored by members of the public who do not notice me."
But the teens agree the experience has been worthwhile. They've gotten to better understand the lives of those they're helping out. Plus, through their unique fundraiser, the seven have raised more than 200 pounds (over $300) for Shopmobility.