Emily gets her off-road wheels

Service user Emily talks through her passion for the great outdoors and how she funded her new off-roading mobility scooter.

“I’d been toying with the idea of getting a mobility scooter for a while, I’d rented one at Silverstone for the MotoGP and it was just such an uplifting experience moving at a speed I’d not managed for years, overtaking people
on foot and feeling free from the old worry! My leg did fall out when I went over a rough patch but other than that I was having a blast.

It was just the finance putting me off and for whatever reason I didn’t even think about funding a mobility scooter through charitable grants otherwise I might have acted a lot sooner.

I’d got to a point where I needed to do something as reflecting back over 2019 I realised I’d been to work, to the centre for physio and to visit my mum’s grave and that was that. My anxiety over walking was also increasing twofold and even today as much as I desire to leave the house I rarely do because I don’t feel safe on my pins.

As an incredibly determined soul I knew what I wanted from a mobility scooter. I live and work in the back of beyond, I also greatly miss my countryside ambles and have little to no desire to enter shops or built up places. So back in October 2019 amidst the chaos that was my life at that point I spontaneously booked in a home demo
for a couple of off-roading models that took my fancy. No thought just action!

We chatted through the finance options but with large monthly repayments I was hesitant. It wasn’t until last minute that ‘The Joseph Patrick Trust’ came into my mind – triggered by a conversation with a work colleague.
I rushed home to fill out the form to meet the deadline. In the past they’d helped me out with my hand-controls, I had nothing to lose from trying.

It turned out I needed a supporting letter from a health professional, so I contacted my care advisor Heather Ryan at OUH who not only obliged but came back to me asking if I was going to any other charities for support.
I wasn’t – I didn’t know of any. After asking for suggestions on what other charities could help, I got a reply from Heather who was seemingly on a mission! Not only did she recommend ‘Independence at Home’ and ‘Equipment for Independent Living’, she also stated that she would have to apply to both on my behalf and ended her message with “shall I get cracking?”!

Again, I had nothing to lose, the only downside was I’d have to wait a bit longer, but I felt that was a small price to pay. Unfortunately, we’d just missed a deadline for applications, so it was a 3-month delay until the next trustee meeting. I had hoped to be up and running for Christmas so I could run away on the big day from everyone and everything! It wasn’t to be, so I was happy to wait until January.

It was worth the wait! I was awarded a larger grant than I was ever expecting, we were still short from the full amount though so back to the drawing board. Heather recommend I try local Rotary or The Freemasons, which I had a conversation with Lynn (Lynn Ward, Lead Physiotherapist at MDSC) about the situation and she then recommended ‘The Hospital Saturday Fund’.

So, they were the final piece in the jigsaw and again Heather had to apply on my behalf. I was expecting a decision back in March but was then told I’d have to wait until August due to lock-down. If I had to wait, then well I
had to wait.

August is now upon us and my final grant was awarded! Now I’m chasing everyone up to pay the company and then I can place the order! It’s been a challenging but very rewarding 10 months since I started out on this
journey but now, I’m finally finding my wheels!

I’ve also just discovered there’s ‘The Disabled Ramblers’ so I’ll be joining them and scooting about here there and everywhere someday very soon. Catch me if ya can!”

August 2020