Project information

Bugzi - Powered mobility for children

Bugzi is a powered wheelchair designed for disabled children aged 1 to 6 years. It enables them to be independently mobile.

We want to make 2 Bugzies to loan to children free of charge. When a child grows out of their Bugzi, it will be returned to MERU to be made ready for another young driver

January 2017 - June 2017

Charity information


MERU logo
  • Need


    Children with disabilities currently can't be assessed by NHS wheelchair services for a powered wheelchair until they are at least 5 years old. By this time, they will have missed out on vital learning experiences such as cause and effect, co-ordination, spatial awareness and personal 'risk management'. They have to rely on their carers to make choices for them, which can be very frustrating and have fewer opportunities to interact with others than other children their age.


    The Bugzi solves this problem by enabling disabled children to be mobile at a very early age.

    It is easy to learn how to 'drive' a Bugzi and the experience of learning is good for the child in itself. The child feels empowered. Just being able to cross a room to select a favourite toy makes such a difference. In a Bugzi, children can get around by themselves, choose how they want to play and interact with other children.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To raise £10,000 to make 2 Bugzi wheelchairs and loan them to children with disabilities.


    » Make 2 Bugzis in our workshop, supervised by our specialist engineers.
    » Identify 2 children who would benefit from the Bugzi Loan Scheme through our referral process.
    » Undertake a full assessment with the child and their family at one of our assessment centres round the country and support them throughout the loan.
    » Identify 2 new Bugzi users to receive the fully refurbished Bugzis after the first users ahve grown out of them.

    The success of each loan is monitored through regular feedback from the families. This focuses of the new independence gained by the children and their overall well-being.

  • Impact


    Our experience has proven that the Bugzis change children's lives long term, by helping them learn important skills at a very early stage. We have statistics on these changes and produce case studies on individual experiences.


    There is a risk that we might not be able to raise enough money to meet the needs of the children on our waiting list. However we raise funds from a variety of sources and have been successful with other fundraising appeals. We are also able to refurbish Bugzis whose drivers have grown out of them when they return them to us. This is done at a more economical cost.


    We regularly report to donors through written reports, our newsletter and social media sites. Those who contribute to The Bugzi Project will be fully updated on the progress of the project and the benefits to their young drivers.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £10,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £5,000 Bugzi 1 Includes materials, engineer time, assessment and ongoing support.
      £5,000 Bugzi 2 Includes materials, engineer time, assessment and ongoing support.
  • Background


    MERU is based in Epsom. This project will benefit children via the assessment centres we are partnered with; in south London, Leeds, Truro, Birmingham and Glasgow.


    Children with disabilities and their families. Bugzi benefit children with complex disabilities, often cerebral palsy or other conditions which affect mobility and co-ordination.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    MERU has nearly 40 years experience designing and making equipment for disabled children. Bugzi was designed and made by MERU. We have already successfully loaned out 83 Bugzis to users throughout the country and want to expand our scheme. We have excellent partnerships with centres around the country which help make the Bugzi Loan Scheme more accessible.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Sarah Vines

    Sarah is the Director of MERU and she manages the whole team.

See the Bugzi in action

Bugzi is a wonderful idea for children that have severe mobility restrictions. They can keep up with other children and it helps them uncover skills they did not know they had.

Claire - mum of a Bugzi user