DMD tech

Duchenne UK launch new competition to design dream wheelchair

24 April 2019

We are pleased to announce the launch of an innovative new competition for young wheelchair users to design their dream wheelchair.

Aimed at wheelchair users aged up to 25 in the UK, the #DreamWheelchair competition encourages entrants to draw or write about their dream wheelchair.

The competition is run by Duchenne UK, Whizz-Kidz, the national charity for young disabled people, The University of Edinburgh, and People’s Postcode Lottery. The competition’s winning design will be made into a 3D printed model and other prizes include a £500 Amazon voucher and a smart speaker.

The competition is part of Wheels of Change, a £1m project funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery through its Dream Fund initiative. The project is a partnership between Whizz-Kidz, Duchenne UK and The University of Edinburgh to research and develop new technology, design and innovation to integrate with and enhance mobility equipment.

Samantha Renke, actress and disability campaigner, Jacqui Adeniji-Williams, a spoken word artist, and Conor O’Donovan, a member of the Whizz-Kidz Kidz Board, will judge entries in three categories: aged 12 and under, 13 to 17-year olds, and 18 to 25-year olds. 

Samantha Renke said:

“I’m really looking forward to seeing entries with inventive design solutions to the everyday obstacles young wheelchair users encounter. My dream wheelchair would turn into a car at the touch of a button so I can travel whenever I want.

The possibilities for a dream wheelchair are endless so we want to encourage young people to push the boundaries of what a wheelchair can be and dream big!”

Jacqui Adeniji-Williams said:

“How your wheelchair looks and what it does are so important when you’re a wheelchair user. My dream wheelchair would transform into a stage complete with everything I need to perform anywhere.”

Conor O’Donovan said:

“This competition is a brilliant idea for young wheelchair users to share their wild and wacky ideas. My dream wheelchair would have a rotisserie chicken attachment so I can eat roasted chicken whenever.”

To find out more and to apply visit  The competition closes on June 10th 2019.



What is Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy?

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is the most common fatal genetic disease diagnosed in childhood. Children born with DMD cannot produce the protein dystrophin which is vital for muscle strength and function. Muscle weakness starts in early childhood. Many use a wheelchair by around the age of 12. As deterioration continues it leads to paralysis and early death, often in their 20s. It almost exclusively affects boys. There is no treatment or cure. In the UK there are around 2,500 boys affected and around 300, 000 worldwide. It is classified as a rare disease.

Who are Duchenne UK?

Duchenne UK is a lean, ambitious and highly focused charity with a clear vision: to fund and accelerate treatments and a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The charity has been formed by the coming together of Joining Jack and Duchenne Children's Trust, the two biggest funders of research in the UK in the last three years. Its president is HRH The Duchess of Cornwall. Its patrons include the broadcasters Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Mary Nightingale, and the sports stars Owen Farrell, Kris Radlinski and Andy Farrell. 

How to donate?

Duchenne UK is entirely reliant on donations to fund research for treatments and a cure to DMD. This can be done via:

  • Direct Debit – Duchenne Direct
  • Individual Donation – Donate
  • If you are a family or friend affected by DMD you can set up your own fund with Duchenne UK – Family and Friend Funds
  • Take part in one of our fundraising events – Events
  • Text DUCHENNE to 70085 to donate £5. This costs £5 plus a std rate msg.

For more information and interview requests:

Visit www.duchenneuk.org

Molly Hunt – Head of Communications, Duchenne UK E: [email protected]

Published on 23 April 2019

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