Bugzi is a powered indoor wheelchair available to loan for free across the United Kingdom.
Early years mobility
An ideal introduction to ‘drive to learn’ the Bugzi is safe, compact and manoeuvrable – giving disabled children the opportunity to experience mobility, some for the first time.
Our Bugzi Loan Scheme enables families and clinicians to access Bugzi at a time in a child’s life when they can most benefit from the discovery, experience and learning that independent mobility brings.
How do I apply?
Click on the links below for the application form and supporting letters. For more information about the benefits of Bugzi and how to introduce powered mobility with Bugzi download the Supervisors guide:
How does the scheme work?
Thanks to the generosity of donors we have a fleet of Bugzis available for loan, free of charge! We work with partner charities across the UK to provide Bugzi assessments closer to your home.
Send your completed application form to us at MERU and after acceptance we forward to your nominated centre where you will be invited for assessment. There, your Bugzi is specially tailored to your child’s needs and is ready to take home with you the same day. We require a returnable deposit of £100 and ask that you complete periodical reviews and return Bugzi at the end of the loan period, so that it can be refurbished and provided for the next family.
You will need to pay for your deposit before your assessment – please follow this link to pay your Bugzi deposit online.
By allowing disabled children to use and develop their physical co-ordination and spatial awareness, Bugzi provides them the opportunity to explore their world, make choices about what to do – learning about risk and safety – and interact socially with their friends and families.
To find out more call MERU on 01372 725203 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
“I think this is an amazing scheme. Sophia loves her Bugzi. She has some independence instead of having to rely on others to get her places and she is developing her coordination and spatial awareness.” Tracey, Sophia’s mum
“With the Bugzi Beau has the freedom to explore and play with her friends and family. She is always happy and has fun being able to choose where she wants to go. It has definitely made a huge difference to her independence!” Charlotte, Beau’s mum
Where are our assessment centres?
We work with the following centres to provide Bugzis. If you have any questions please contact either your local centre or us at MERU who can advise.
Will my child fit in a Bugzi?
The maximum specified weight for a child using a Bugzi is 25kgs and the maximum lower leg length (measured from behind the knee to floor) to fit in the chair is 33cm. If your child is slightly over these limits please contact us as it may still be possible to accommodate some short term Bugzi use.
It’s also possible to purchase a Bugzi outright. Bugzi is a fully functioning CE-marked electric wheelchair and includes a programmable controller, postural seating and rechargeable batteries. It accepts MiniCaps and NurseryCAPS seats from Active Design.
Please call for latest pricing information.
More About Bugzi
Bugzi helps young children like Danny achieve independence, the opportunity to learn and explore – and even the chance to make new friends.
Danny has Cerebral Palsy which means he is unable to walk. MERU provided Danny with his first powered mobility aid: Bugzi, a tiny indoor wheelchair which was the perfect vehicle for him – allowing control of his mobility and giving him invaluable freedom and independence.
Danny first tried Bugzi using a push-button system for left, right and forward controls. He mastered them very quickly and moved on to a Moozi joystick. Within half an hour he could manoeuvre wherever he wanted to go. The fine motor control required will help him when he learns other important skills like writing or using a keypad.
Offering young children like Danny the chance to be independently mobile from a young age means that once he is old enough for a larger powered wheelchair, he will already be familiar with the special awareness, safe control and hand-eye co-ordination required.
Allison Dick, Senior Paediatric Occupational Therapist at the Orchard House Child Development Centre agrees. “Not only is the experience of movement vital for children with limited motor skills but Bugzi also provides an alternative way by to develop their understanding of cause and effect, and the skills they need to operate switches.”
Bugzi encourages the development of physical co-ordination and motor skills – as well as better spatial awareness and personal risk management. Using Bugzi is also a great motivator and provides a platform for children to use these skills in developing their communication.
Ewan has Cerebral Palsy which affects both his communication and mobility skills. MERU provided Ewan with his first powered mobility device – Bugzi – the perfect vehicle to take control of his mobility whilst learning new skills that will support his communication development.
Ewan’s dad Ben says: “Without Bugzi, Ewan has limited ability to do what most children love – to explore! Using the switches allows him to be mobile independently but teaches him about active play. Pressing buttons and understanding the resulting actions is vital for his cognitive development. He loves Bugzi – Thank you MERU!”
Children like Ewan use switches, such as Moozi to communicate, learning to consciously move their hands, feet or head to press a switch to make a choice. Developing their switching skills at an early age with Bugzi can be hugely beneficial and open up opportunities for choice-making and improving communication.
Bugzi Families Facebook Group
There is also a private Facebook Group for families of children that use Bugzis to share experiences and advice.
You can request access to this by clicking here.