We are taking part in Shine’s Wheelchair Wonders Virtual Balloon Race on 3rd July 2017.

Shine is a charity providing support and services to those with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus.

Many of its members will never walk and are reliant on gaining mobility through the use of a wheelchair, from as early as the age of three.

Shine ensures that the wheelchair their member has is fit for purpose as, due to stringent NHS funding, more and more of their members are finding that their chairs are not being replaced in a time-honoured fashion to “grow” with them. Shine's Occupational Therapy Service, which is funded entirely through voluntary donations, look to ensure that this is adhered to and, if necessary, will intervene to ensure the child has the best wheelchair to give them a good start in life. They also offer free advice and support to families and individuals on acquiring and using their new chair.

Wheelchair use can cause wear and tear on various joints, particularly the elbows and shoulders, and Shine advises its members on managing this.

There are many members of all ages at Shine, who wish to get involved in various sports and require specially adapted wheelchairs in order to compete. The charity helps the individuals and families in raising the funds required to purchase the wheelchair and realise their dreams. They also organise residential trips for wheelchair-using teenagers, where they can try activities such as abseiling and canoeing. This gives them the confidence and realisation that, although they may spend most of their life in a wheelchair, this need not be a barrier to achieving their full potential and actively taking part in fun events.

This virtual balloon race helps to raise vital funds to support Shine’s ongoing work.

Bakers is delighted to have purchased two virtual balloons, which will be launched from Dusseldorf on the 3rd July (the starting point of this year's Tour De France, which commences on the 1st of July).

You can follow the race, and our balloons’ progress, from the 3rd July via our Facebook page.

For more information about Shine, visit their website: www.shinecharity.org.uk.