Many wheelchair users experience discomfort from overheating due to long stints sitting in their chairs. Until now, there hasn’t been an appropriate solution.

The first images of a game-changing cooling wheelchair cushion designed by Staels Design have been released this week.

The WheelAir is a battery powered, ergonomically designed backrest cushion that cools the user by gently blowing air onto their backs. It combines function with comfort without compromising on style. The cushion fits all manual active lightweight wheelchairs and the company has big aspirations to eventually provide cooling solutions for all wheelchairs, both power and manual.

Staels Design are close to launching the WheelAir – but to get there they first need to raise £30,000 through crowdfunding. This campaign will pay for the tooling required to start manufacture.

This much-needed product has recently been tested for the first time by wheelchair users and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

Jay Anderson, a multi-disciplined athlete and wheelchair user said after using the WheelAir that: “This is the first time I’ve been in the park in the sun without overheating in 20 years. And not only is it adding so much comfort, it is actually attractive!”

Double Paralympic wheelchair rugby player and former captain, Michael Kerr, said, “I can’t wait until the WheelAir is launched. I experience a lot of problems with overheating during games and am glad there is finally going to be an effective solution to this problem without having to resort to being sprayed with water.”

Staels Design is currently a finalist in this year’s Scottish Edge, Converge Challenge and Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards, three highly acclaimed UK business competitions.

The WheelAir will be available for a 40% discount for the first 48 hours of the campaign launch on Kickstarter on the 1 June.