Stephanie Wheen is the founder of Gympanzees CIC which aims to provide play, exercise and friendship for all children and young people from 0-25 years old with disabilities. Stephanie has 15 years experience as a physiotherapist working with disabled children and young people and is dedicated to making the lives of children and their families as complete and independent as possible. She had become acutely aware of the severe lack of leisure and play facilities that were fully accessible for children with disabilities. These children are often the most in need of exercise and activity but are often the least able to access appropriate facilities and their health and well-being suffers, as does the mental and physical health of their parents and carers.
Gympanzees was founded in 2016 and is working towards building the country’s first, fully inclusive activity centre in Bristol. However this will take several years to build. The Shackleton Award will enable Gympanzees to run a 4 week Pop Up activity centre in the summer of 2018 in the meantime, to provide play, exercise and friendship to the disabled children and young people over the difficult summer holidays.