Cadbury fundraisers hit wheelchair target

Cadbury World staff raise £5,000 to fund brand-new wheelchair for Dudley man.

After twelve months of hard work, employees at Cadbury World are proud to announce that they have raised more than £5,000 to fund a brand-new, fully-customised, chariot-fit wheelchair for local inspiration Ashlie Coyne.

Staff at the Bournville-based attraction have spent the past year participating in imaginative fundraising activities in order to meet their target of £5,000 to purchase 24-year-old Ashlie’s new wheelchair.

Born in December 1995, Ashlie was subjected to abuse and neglect and as a result was diagnosed with Spastic Quadriplegia Microcephaly – the most severe form of cerebral palsy. At nine months old, Ashlie’s life turned around when he was brought into the care of Barnardo’s longest serving foster carers, Pat and Pete Coyne. When Ashlie was just 18 months old, Pat and Pete Coyne were approved as his long term carers, and at age 11, he was officially adopted into the Coyne family.

From male employees getting their legs waxed, a disco and karaoke night at The Cadbury Club in Bournville and many cake sales in the staff canteen, the attraction’s employees went above and beyond to raise more than 50% of the significant target before the coronavirus lockdown was announced in March. One brave member of staff also raised an incredible £1,000 towards Ashlie’s new wheelchair by completing a 250m sky jump off the top of the Stratosphere Hotel in Las Vegas.

Determined not to let the pandemic get in the way of their fundraising efforts, staff at Cadbury World got creative, devising activities that they could still do, to help them reach their goal. Three workers jumped out of their comfort zone with a 15,000ft sky dive, which raised £2,400 towards their £5,000 goal.

Ashlie’s previous wheelchair not only caused him discomfort, but stopped him travelling to see loved ones due to its dismantling challenges. Ashlie’s brand-new chair will not only make him much more comfortable, it will also enable him to visit family and friends who live in the UK and abroad, as well as explore new places due to its lightweight design.

Sue Fieldhouse, a front of house team member at Cadbury World, who completed the 15,000ft sky dive and organised many of the staff fundraising activities, said: “We are incredibly proud to have raised such a significant amount for Ashlie’s new wheelchair. It will give such a special young man a better quality of life, and we’re pleased to be able to play our part in raising money for Ashlie.”

Pat Coyne, Ashlie’s adopted mother, commented: “We would like to thank all of the Cadbury World staff and the wider team for their incredible donation and ongoing support for Ashlie. We’re committed to continuing creating a fantastic life for him, and his brand-new wheelchair will allow us to travel so much more, something which he absolutely loves to do.”

Cadbury World is committed to offering an inclusive experience for all chocolate lovers. More information on accessibility at the attraction and pre-booking of tickets is available here.