Inner Wheel group keeps little Lily whizzing along

thisisoxfordshire: Banbury Inner Wheel members with Lily Ilott – back, from left, Maureen Carney and Helen Morris, centre from left, Liz Rodrick and Judy May, and front from left Linda Clarke and Annie Phillips Picture: OX6504: Antony Moore Banbury Inner Wheel members with Lily Ilott – back, from left, Maureen Carney and Helen Morris, centre from left, Liz Rodrick and Judy May, and front from left Linda Clarke and Annie Phillips Picture: OX6504: Antony Moore

A LITTLE girl is whizzing around in her super new wheelchair and is now fully insured, thanks to a group of women.

Last March Lily Ilott’s parents launched a £17,000 fundraising appeal to pay for a new motorised wheelchair to replace her worn-out chair.

The seven-year-old has type two spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic condition which means she cannot bear weight and is confined to a wheelchair.

Just before Christmas Lily, who lives with mum Jo, dad Matthew and younger sister Gracie, two, in Worton Road, Middle Barton, took possession of her new chair, which she drives herself.

It has been adapted to fit her, has a specially-moulded seat and lights and is easy to turn and put away.

Now members of Banbury Inner Wheel have donated £500 which will pay for insurance and public liability cover for Lily and the new chair.

The Inner Wheel group raised the cash by stuffing a member’s Mini with yellow and blue balloons, parking it at Castle Quay shopping centre in Banbury and asking people to guess how many were in the car.

It comes as nationally the women's club celebrates its 90th year.

Chairman Maureen Carney said: “Members of Banbury Inner Wheel are proud to support the association’s anniversary by making a donation which will go towards giving Lily the mobility she deserves both at home and at school.”

Lily’s dad, 43, said insurance for the chair was a necessity and had cost about £550.

He said: “We would be silly not to insure a wheelchair that cost £18,000. Unfortunately we live in an age where you have to prepare for all eventualities.” He said Lily had already been hit by a car but thankfully it was moving slowly.

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Mr Ilott added: “The chair is fantastic. It is effectively her legs.

“She has as normal a school life as you can expect. She whizzes around the playground.

“She goes in her chair when she gets up in the morning and is pretty much in it the whole day until she goes to bed.”

The family raised the cash to pay for the new chair from a string of fundraising events, private donations, contributions from local charities and a £2,700 grant from the health authority.

The new chair will last Lily, a Middle Barton School pupil, at least five years.

Her previous chair, provided by charity Whizzkidz, is being used as a back-up for now. But the family say they will eventually donate it to a charity that refurbishes wheelchairs and sends them abroad to help children.

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