Getting the right chair can mean the difference between living a full life, and sitting at home, festering and isolated

I’m a relative rookie at the wheelchair business. It’s only since 2011 (and my third/fourth cancer surgery) that my mobility has been radically reduced, and I’ve joined the wheeling world. So, when I got involved in the first Wheelchair Summit, and casually asked my wheelchair basketball team what their experiences of Wheelchair Services were like, I was, to say the least, blown away by the response. I was pinned to the gym wall for twenty minutes, and regaled with tales of woe.

It was pretty shocking: awful delays; badly fitting chairs; chairs so heavy they were harming users and parents, even leading to surgery; simple repairs that took weeks to process and sort. Most of them were quick to say that the service providers were really trying.

After years of previous attempts to address this, we have formed the National Wheelchair Leadership Alliance, to bring together users, providers, commissioners and manufacturers, to chuck everything we can at this, and sort the service once and for all.

Our aim is that everyone who needs a chair gets the right chair at the right time. With the right kit, a user can go where they need to go, do the things they need to do. It’s the difference between school and no school, work and no work, getting out and having fun, or being socially isolated. It makes social and financial sense, to ensure that all of us can be as independent as possible.

So please take the time to read through the Alliance’s Charter and agree to sign up to its principles.

Your support will help to raise the profile, and get this often-forgotten service fixed, for me and for tens of thousands of other wheelchair users. Thanks. Fi

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