Whizz-Kidz to take on staff to lobby for funds

Children's mobility charity Whizz-Kidz is to hire its first lobbying chief and overhaul its funding structure.

The charity identified two priorities this summer as part of a three-year development plan. The first is to convince ministers to increase funding for equipment, and second is to secure better long-term funding for the charity.

To do that the charity is working with head-hunters to find a public affairs officer and an information officer to bolster its 50-strong staff.

Both are expected to be hired within the next few months and will report to Michael Dickson, chief executive of Whizz-Kidz.

"Mobility is vital to a disabled child's growth and development," said Dickson. "It is therefore vital that the provision of mobility equipment by government services improves."

Dickson indicated that further staff may be recruited.

The charity argues that the majority of services for disabled kids, such as NHS provision, are inadequate and worsened by a lack of awareness among service staff of mobility benefits.

Dickson said he wanted to "nudge" the Government to embrace the charity's concerns at a time when ministers expound "partnership funding".

He also added that the move to grow reflected a desire to become a centre of expertise and stemmed from new approaches from organisations seeking advice. They include the Audit Commission, Children's Task Force and the Modernisation Agency.

The charity, which is almost solely reliant on voluntary funding, is also to mount a legacy and payroll funding drive to shore up its £4.6 million annual income.

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