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Eighteen-year-old Farhaan Kashif from Cheetham Hill in Greater Manchester needs ‘power assist’ E-motion wheels which attach to his wheelchair so that he can have the independence he needs at university.

Teenagers across the country are excitedly preparing to start university courses, but while most students will be relishing their first taste of independence, he faces being pushed in a wheelchair by a support worker, unable to make basic choices for himself.

Farhaan has the genetic condition Friedreich’s Ataxia which affects his nervous system and muscles. His muscles are so weak that he is often exhausted which means he cannot propel his wheelchair himself. The bright student, who will be studying Business Technology at Manchester Metropolitan University and dreams of emulating his hero, Bill Gates, will have a completely different university experience to his friends. Farhaan currently doesn’t have the equipment he needs to go to his lectures, visit the student union and socialise with friends without someone having to push him.

E-motion powered wheelchair wheels, which cost £4,440, would make all the difference. The power assist wheels would attach to his manual wheelchair and reduces the effort to propel his wheelchair while ensuring Farhaan still remains active, effectively bridging the gap between a manual and powered wheelchair. This will allow him to go anywhere he wants to, without anyone needing to help him. Mum Shahana said “Without the E-motion wheels he will have to be allocated someone to support him to get around – but no 18-year-old wants that, he wants to be left to his own devices.”

But his local statutory services won’t provide the equipment he needs. In desperation mum Shahana turned to Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children, the largest UK charity providing specialist equipment. Newlife wants to give Farhaan the E-motion wheels he so urgently needs and is appealing to local people to help raise the funds. You can help Farhaan by visiting or Telephone donations can be made by calling 01543 462777.

Farhaan said: “The E-motion wheels would give me more independence. I wouldn’t have to rely on anyone else. It makes me quite frustrated that I have to rely on others and being at university wouldn’t be the same.”

Mum added: “Farhaan is a very positive person with a strong personality and he doesn’t want to be controlled by his chair. He wants to be part of university life, just like his friends. He wants to live as normal a life as possible and, as his mum, I just want to help him achieve his dreams.”

Right now, Newlife has 19 disabled and terminally ill children in Greater Manchester in need of specialist equipment and must raise £26,527 to help them. Newlife has already supported 539 children across Greater Manchester.

Newlife’s Head of Charity Operations Stephen Morgan says: “We really want to help change the lives of children like Farhaan and their families, so we are calling on local individuals, groups, clubs and companies to get involved and support them too. If you think you could help by donating or fundraising, please visit  Alternatively, contact Suzie or a member of the team on 01543 462777 or email”

Any funds raised above what is needed for Farhaan will be used to help other disabled and terminally ill children in Greater Manchester.

Stephen added: “Without this help, many will sadly go without, as we simply don’t have the funds to support every child who needs our help.  This is heart-breaking but we know local people do want to help local children in need, hence our appeal.”