Aqua Cars step in to make disabled teen’s Portsmouth prom dream come true

Rhianna Summut  with Lucas Henningham and Dave Campbell from Aqua Cars
Rhianna Summut with Lucas Henningham and Dave Campbell from Aqua Cars
Have your say

A WHEELCHAIR-BOUND teenager’s prom dream was rescued after a city taxi firm answered her call for help.

Rhianna Sammut, 16, was able to make it to Lewis Hine’s Friend Finder Prom on Friday night thanks to intervention from Portsmouth firm Aqua Cars.

It came after a support worker reached out to radio station Wave 105’s Cash for Kids initiative – which helps youngsters who are financially, socially, emotionally or physically disadvantaged.

Explaining Rhianna and her mother Debbie had no means of getting to the ball at Portsmouth Guildhall, the worker had their plea answered as Cash for Kids manager Sam Tanner facilitated a wheelchair-friendly lift via Aqua Cars.

This meant Rhianna, who has system mastocytosis and lives in Ringwood, was able to get to the party – without even needing to collapse her chair.

After her daughter was able to enjoy the soiree – which she was hand-picked to attend – Debbie Sammut said: ‘For Rhianna to be nominated to go the ball was wonderful.

‘At her age she should be out socialising and making friends, but we are very isolated in the house.

‘It really was a dream come true when Aqua Cars said they could help us.

‘When I told Rhianna she could go to the ball after all, she was so excited.

‘Thank you Aqua Cars for coming to our rescue.’

On the evening, Rhianna joined other users of the Friend Finder app, which was created by inspirational Havant teen, Lewis Hine, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour as a young boy.

He created the charity to help unite youngsters who face loneliness or isolation because of their disabilities.

Dave Campbell, assistant operations manager at Aqua Cars, said: ‘It was a pleasure to be able to help.

‘We are fortunate to have a number of accessible vehicles and fully-trained drivers in our fleet, so had no hesitation in saying yes.

‘It is important to us to support local charities and Wave105 Cash for Kids is one of our causes for this year.

‘The Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence in Portsmouth is another local charity we support.’

The event at Portsmouth Guildhall is one of two organised by Friend Finder this year, following a greatly-successful debut in 2017.

Cash for Kids manager, Sam Tanner, said: ‘It was so lovely to be able to help this mum and daughter make their dream come true. I can’t thank Aqua Cars enough.’