We’ve got wheels! Gift of independence is priceless

A CHARITY cafe in Speedwell has given the gift of independence to two children with disabilities.

The volunteer-run Barton Hill Rugby Club Charity Cafe handed over new electric wheelchairs to the youngsters, after raising thousands of pounds to buy them.

It brought the total number of families the cafe’s volunteers and customers have supported during 2022 to seven.

On December 5 they presented 13-year-old Lucas Merryweather, from Weston-super-Mare, with his new wheels.

His mum Sharon said: “We are totally overwhelmed with the generosity of everyone, even people that don’t even know us. The independence that this is going to give Lucas and our family is priceless.”

Cafe volunteer Mandy Bryant said: “Lucas was over the moon and loved every minute of being the centre of attention.”  

On December 14 the last cafe of the year included another presentation, to seven-year-old Izzy Probert, from Hengrove,. Mum Elly said: “Thank you so much to Barton Hill RFC Charity Cafe and Taylor Made Wheelchairs for giving Izzy her new wheels and her independence – she is one happy little lady.”

As well as supporting families, the cafe also raises money for mental health charity Mind.   Mandy thanked all of the cafe’s volunteers and supporters, including Fare Share South West, Fare Share Go, Tesco and the Co-op, Greggs Kingswood, Morrisons in Fishponds and BAM Construction. 

The cafe, which is staffed and managed entirely by volunteers, provides a friendly place for people to meet, with cheap food and drink and bargain donated goods, every Monday and Wednesday from noon until 3pm.