A Torfaen girl is set to star on Countryfile this weekend as the BBC show heads to Cwmcarn Forest.

Pippa from Torfaen will be featuring in an episode of BBC One’s Countryfile this Sunday, along with her family, as they discuss the difference a powered wheelchair has made to her life after it was provided by Newlife the Charity for Disabled.

In Cwmcarn Forest, South Wales, Countryfile Presenter Tom Heap will be catching up with five-year old Pippa and her family on their ramble, with a mission to raise funds for BBC Children in Need’s 2021 Appeal.

Pippa's story

South Wales Argus:

Pippa was born with the rare condition Epidermolysis Bullosa, which causes her skin to become very fragile, tear and blister – with up to 100 blisters across her body daily, including the soles of her feet – which then need to be cut and drained. Pippa takes morphine sometimes for her extreme pain and as her joints are also hyper-mobile, she can’t walk on uneven surfaces and tires easily.

Using a wheelchair is vital for Pippa to get around outside her home, but the manual wheelchair provided by her local statutory wheelchair services didn’t give her any kind of independence.

She struggled to self-propel and the friction to her hands caused more blisters, but as they had provided Pippa with a manual wheelchair, a powered wheelchair could not also be provided.

Although Pippa received a powered wheelchair which was critical to keeping her safe and giving her independence, she had nearly outgrown this. Without a powered wheelchair she couldn’t access the outside areas at school to play with her friends without adult assistance, play with her brother, or go to the park.

South Wales Argus: BBC Countryfile host Tom Heap will meet up with Pippa and her family this week. Credit: BBC Studios/Pete DaddsBBC Countryfile host Tom Heap will meet up with Pippa and her family this week. Credit: BBC Studios/Pete Dadds

Pippa’s mum turned to Newlife for help and, thanks to BBC Children in Need’s support to Newlife she was provided with a £5,560 powered wheelchair through its Equipment Grants Service. Newlife's Equipment Grants Service ensures that the right equipment is provided at the right time to keep children safe, free them from pain and discomfort, enable them to fulfil their potential and improve their quality of life.

Pippa’s powered wheelchair means she now has the independence and ability to move and transfer by herself, prevents blisters on her hands, and make sure she is safe in the chair from any bumps or knocks that could cause her skin to deteriorate.

Pippa’s mum, Rhiannon, said: “Pippa now has the independence to move by herself at home and school, to play with her friends and brother outside, to go to the park and on fields.

“It has given the whole family a sense of freedom to be able to go out to different places. We are going on more walks and activities so she can independently go and look at something that interests her, without waiting to be pushed.

“She can go through muddy puddles and play, without being restricted to walking where I want to go or where adults will push her.

“The powered wheelchair has changed life massively for us. She is so much happier and it has made a huge difference to her. She has become a real daredevil and loves doing 360 spins in her new wheelchair.

“There’s no stopping her now, which is exactly what you want for your child. Her crazy personality is coming out more and more now. It’s wonderful to see.

“We wanted to say a big thank you to BBC Children in Need and Newlife, as without them Pippa having this equipment would not be possible.”

To hear more about Pippa’s story tune into Countryfile tonight at 7pm on BBC One.