National charity, Remap is well known for ﬁnding unique solutions to everyday challenges. It provides disabled people with custom-made equipment to help them be as independent as possible. From mobility aids to gadgets around the home and sports equipment to supporting education and learning, no problem is too big or too small to warrant attention.
Some of our more unusual solutions however, highlight that Remap loves nothing more than a challenge. Take the example of Rosie, who had ambitions to get to the top of Mount Snowdon in her wheelchair. She’d found a group of mates who would help push and pull the chair, but it would need to be modiﬁ ed to cope with the rough terrain, and how would those helpers actually help her?
Remap’s volunteer, Fred Harrison adapted the wheelchair by adding a front wheel (from a BMX bike) for steering and braking along with ﬁxings for pulling straps. At the rear he built a pushing and lifting frame which connected with the wheelchair via its anti-tip sockets.
The adapted wheelchair was given the name Hillary and used to raise money for the spinal injury charity, Back Up. Rosie and her team raised an amazing £20,000 and became the ﬁrst all-women team to complete the challenge.
A different sort of challenge was thrown at the Remap team in Gloucester when National Star College asked us to ﬁnd a new way of controlling a wheelchair for dancing. Some of their students cannot use the traditional joystick on powered wheelchairs and were excluded from the opportunity to express themselves through dance.
Remap bofﬁns again came up with an innovative solution based on special sensors attached to armbands and a headband. These sensors monitor the position of the arm or head; lean the head forward and the wheelchair goes forwards. Throw your arm out to the right and the chair goes right. The project was a great success, with students achieving great personal satisfaction through being able to move to the music.
Avril from Elsenham in Essex and her friends had a more everyday challenge. The local council had put self-closing gates on the path leading to their community centre. As a mobility scooter user, Avril couldn’t reach to pull the gates open from her scooter – what to do? Remap volunteers added a special socket to the top of the gates and provided all local scooter users with a special hooked handle that ﬁ ts the socket.
Remap’s help is provided free of charge and, with a national network of groups they are probably operating in your area.
So, what’s your biggest challenge? If you could wave a magic wand and create a gadget that would help you achieve your goal, what would it be?
Why not challenge Remap?
For more information, visit the Remap website at: www.remap.org.uk or tel: 01732 760209.