A TEENAGER with cerebral palsy has gained some independence after the Mayor of Southend Derek Jarvis presented her with a specially powered wheelchair.

Elisha Chappel, 16, from Wickford, needed help with the majority of her daily needs and activities, due to the condition which affects her movement and coordination - especially her arms and legs.

CHIPS Charity, funded by the casino and gaming industry, fundraise to provide powered wheelchairs for disabled children.

John Harland, PR manager at Genting Casino, Westcliff, who knew Elisha from his voluntary work at the able bodied and special needs dance school, La Danse Fantastique, in Basildon, selected Elisha as the young person to receive a new powered wheelchair.

John said: “I knew that Elisha would be a great recipient as she was starting to outgrow her current chair and her family were looking for alternatives.

“The timing was perfect, and I am absolutely thrilled that we can present Elisha with a brand-new chair. I know it will have such a positive impact on her life.”

Five employees at Genting UK ran the “Rock ‘n’ Roll” San Diego Marathon raising a total of £50,000 for CHIPS, and the money was used to buy Elisha’s wheelchair.

Elisha’s mother, Emma Chappel said: “We would like to express our sincere thanks to Genting UK for purchasing this powered wheelchair for Elisha.

“Despite her disabilities, Elisha is extremely alert and loves to interact with everyone.

“Elisha is reliant on others to get her around, both at home and out in the community but having this wheelchair will enable her to independently move around and give her the freedom to make choices of her own.”

Since CHIPS began, it has raised £2million and presented more 500 wheelchairs to youngsters.

Simon Woodford, general manager at Genting Casino, Westcliff, said: “All of us at Westcliff Genting are so supportive of the work that Genting UK do to support CHIPS Charity and I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to everyone.”