Able2Do Anything: Sports

Disabled Teen launches an appeal after DWP ask her to return her Mobility Car

kayleigh haggo

Sixteen-year-old Kayleigh Haggo from Maybole, Ayrshire is keen to become a professional athlete. Her disability isn’t stopping her to for fill her potential – it’s the changes to the disability benefits system.

Under the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) which replaces the Disability Living Allowance people who can walk unaided for more than 20m are not eligible for the scheme which, in some cases, includes a mobility car.

Kaleigh, who has cerebral palsy, is driven to training sessions six times a week by her mother, but she has been told she needs to return her vehicle within the next two weeks.

The teenager is hoping to compete at the Paralympics, being held in Tokyo in 2020, but without a car she will have to rely on friends and family to take her to the sport centres where she can continue her training.

Kaleigh appealed although her efforts were upheld by the Department of Work and Pensions.

She said: “When I leave school I’m hoping to train full-time and also go to college or university. But I won’t be able to get there. I really want to compete in the Paralympics, but not having a car will mean that can’t happen.

“To get the bus would mean I’d have to go down the stairs myself, and I can’t do that.”

Scottish Disability Sport boss Gavin McLeod added: “Without her Motability allowance, she will not be able to benefit from her participation in sport and continue on her performance pathway.

“This is also a significant concern for SDS as Kayleigh has undoubted potential to represent Scotland and GB on the international, Commonwealth and Paralympic stage.”

Haggo has launched a petition which will ask Prime Minister David Cameron to reconsider the strict guidelines of the PIP so she can keep her independence and hopefully bring back a gold medal for his country.

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