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Welcome to UK Wheelchairs - the home of value and quality


  • Naidex National mobility and care exhibition May 1st

    With over 300 exhibitors, the annual Naidex National exhibition at the NEC Birmingham is one show that’s not to be missed.

    We are always on the look out for suppliers of new and innovative wheelchairs and powerchairs or electric wheelchairs and Naidex is one place where we can see them all under one roof.
    The mobility and care conference that runs for 3 days from May the 1st to the 3rd is an exciting place where new and established wheelchair makers can display their wares in the Mobility and transport section.
    We will be keeping a close eye on some all terrain wheelchairs and manufacturers as we receive growing numbers of enquiries from you our loyal customers who want to get out and pursue more adventurous pastimes.

    With improved battery life and lighter components, all these things are becoming increasingly easier !

    If you are interested in the Naidex show please visit their site by clicking here.

  • Wheelchair technology advances

    We all know that some of the finest electronics come from Japan. Now its the turn of the wheelchair to get some attention of some electronic wizardry.

    The inventors of the new robot wheelchair have used a number of electronic sensors to feed the onboard computer with enough information to help the wheelchair detect near by obstacles and take them in its stride. Quite literally this wheelchair can maintain a level seat for the user while climbing over obstacles including steps and kerbs.

    This groundbreaking and exciting technology is being developed by a team at the Chiba Institute of Technology in Japan. The four-wheel-drive, five-axis wheelchair moves like a typical wheelchair – except when it encounters an obstacle. It's then able to use its wheels like legs.
    Lead engineer, Shuro Nakajima, commented: “Each of the four wheels is independent of one another, so they can react independently when the chair comes across some sort of step.


    They aren’t tied into responding in the same way at the same time.”
    “This means it can climb - whether it approaches the step straight on or at an angle, it’s fine either way. In that sense, we’ve really pushed wheelchair technology forward.”
    With further testing and a few tweaks we hope it wont be long before this electric robot wheelchair is available.

  • At what age should powerchairs be available ?

    We were encouraged to see the proposed change in the law to allow under 14s to use motorised vehicles including electric wheelchairs.

    The government is under pressure to make the change to help transform young people quality of life by allowing the use of electric wheelchairs where suitable. The cut off weight where a motorised vehicle becomes a car is currently 150Kgs. Most electric wheelchairs are far lighter than this and so should be made legal for any person with a sever disability to use one.

    When is an electric wheelchair no longer an electric wheelchair ?

    At the moment it is illegal for people under the age of 14 to use mobility scooters and electric chairs. In the meanwhile, any electric wheelchair weighing more than 150kg is classified as a car and, therefore, can only be driven by people over the age of 17 who hold a driving licence.

    Mr Burley, a conservative MP, stated "The age limit is very arbitrary. It's not fair that a 13-and-a-half-year-old with a degenerative disease can't have the level of freedom that the electric wheelchair would provide."

    Ten-minute rule bills do not normally result in a change in government policy, but Mr Burley said he was hopeful of an alteration in the law for Class 3 chairs, as transport minister Norman Baker and Maria Miller, minister for disabled people, had attended the debate.

    We agree with him and believe that it makes sense to make electric wheelchairs available, where suitable, to users under the age of fourteen. Do let us know your thoughts.

  • 300 miles on a mobility scooter?

    Torquay is where we are based so we thought we had to mention this rather amazing journey that is planned for the end of this month all to benefit the Sue Ryder Hospice.

    Young Farmers are preparing to embark on a huge challenge that will see them travel from Yorkshire to Torquay on Freerider mobility scooters!

    The challenge is part of their annual ‘Yorkshire’s Greatest Export’ campaign and will raise funds for Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice. Members will tow giant versions of their chosen products for 2012, potatoes and a wool bearing sheep behind the scooters to the Young Farmers AGM on the south coast.

    The challenge takes place over 7 days between Saturday 21 and Friday 27 April. Freerider has told the riders that after they finish the challenge, they can auction the scooters off to boost the funds.

    Linda Dixon of Freerider told us: “We are delighted to be providing our scooters to the Young Farmers for this exciting challenge. It’s a great way to demonstrate the durability and reliability of our products and we hope that a huge amount can be raised for Sue Ryder.”

  • Brave wheelchair user embarks on Trans Africa expedition

    No stopping wheelchair user Rich Harris as he embarks on The Indlovu Drive 2011 - Trans-Africa Expedition

    Injured playing the sport he loves so much, Richard Harris has been a wheelchair user for 25 years and is now embarking on an incredible journey across the length of Africa.

    At the age of nineteen Richard Harris was playing rugby as a prop-forward. An accident on the pitch left him acutely disabled and using a wheelchair for the rest of his life. After months and years of hard work Rich is now able to use crutches for a short while before he reverts to one of his self propelled or electric wheelchairs.

    So what drives a man like Rich to want to even consider a trip like he is due to make in May this year 2011 ? Good question. For lots of information on the planning and now execution of the Trans-Africa Expedition with his wife Rachel please visit his web site and if you are able, contribute to his admirable charitable cause here.

    Rich and Rachel have been planning this incredible journey for a few years. More recently they have been gathering all their kit including mobility equipment, specialist wheelchairs and a rather special Land Rover vehicle ready to ship it out to Durban where they will next see it at the beginning of May.

    Their overland trip will take them through some of the wildest and most beautiful African scenery including these countries: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt.

    At UK Wheelchairs, we wish my old school friend Rich and his wife Rachel the very best of luck on this very brave adventure and hope that they experience the best possible encounters to make this a real journey of a lifetime.

  • CAA announce regulation for electric wheelchairs

    At UK-Wheelchairs we have shown in interest in the ongoing issues regarding regulation of electric mobility transport and particularly electric wheelchairs and we were very please to see active involvement by the CAA.

    The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has launched an industry-wide campaign to highlight the safety requirements and obligations for the preparation and loading of electric mobility aids, including wheelchairs and scooters, on-board passenger aircraft. The initiative follows several safety incidents over recent years involving electric mobility aids.

    As part of its campaign the CAA has produced a training video that runs through each step of the process – from booking the flight, to checking-in, to loading an electric mobility aid into the aircraft hold. The video, One Team, One Goal can be seen below.

  • MP Sarah Newton will be in a wheelchair for diamond jubilee celebrations

    MP Sarah will be in a wheelchair for diamond jubilee celebrations

    We were sorry to hear that Falmouth and Truro's MP is recovering from a broken hip and is going to need a wheelchair for a while.

    Sarah Newton, 50, fell while crossing a road between Portcullis House and the Palace of Westminster last Tuesday and underwent major surgery. She was released from St Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital this week.

    "The doctors have given me strict instructions to keep off my feet for six weeks so you won't see me around as much as usual," she said, adding: "I've received excellent treatment from the NHS.

    "The NHS advises that people walk with care, however much of a rush they're in. I've learnt how important it is to heed this advice, and hope that people can learn from my mistake."

    She said she hoped to attend some local events for the Queen's diamond jubilee, albeit in a wheelchair.

    We wish her all the best.

  • Mobility scooter campaigner goes to No. 10

    With more mobility scooters than ever on our roads and pavements i wondered how long it would be before we're presented with news on incidents and accidents involving pedestrians. With some scooters getting heavier and faster its becoming quite a problem. This however does not apply to electric wheelchairs or powerchairs as they are altogether different and are only intended for the disabled and will travel at lesser speeds.

    This week Caren Jephson who has been campaigning about the dangers of mobility scooters visited Downing Street to deliver letters involving more than 300 people injured by them - all from in and around one city.

    Caren Jephson, from Derby, started campaigning after her son was injured by a mobility scooter in October.

    Mrs Jephson and Mid Derbyshire MP Pauline Latham took a petition to 10 Downing Street on Monday.

    Transport Minister Norman Baker said a pilot scheme is being developed where users are given a sight test.

    Mrs Jephson said: "The quicker they deal with the issue the fewer deaths and injuries there will be."

    In the four months since starting her campaign, Mrs Jephson has received more than 300 letters and emails from people injured by mobility scooters. Please note these are not electric wheelchairs.

    MPs have previously considered introducing a fit-to-drive test. All were written by people in Derby and the surrounding area.

    "Derby is a small place and if you went national I'm quite sure there would be a lot more tragedies," said Mrs Jephson.

    She said mobility scooters endangered users too. In June, an 88-year-old man died after his mobility scooter collided with a bus in Burton.

    The charity Age UK supports the idea of voluntary training for mobility scooter users, but believes additional laws could discourage some vulnerable older people from using them.

    'Drunk users'
    Mrs Jephson is campaigning for the introduction of a proficiency test for mobility scooter users, to make them for disabled users only, and to have identification on scooters.

    She has received claims of people using mobility scooters while drunk.

    "One woman was hit by a man who came out from a nursing home [on a mobility scooter] with a can of beer in his hand," she said.

    She has collected more than 3,000 paper petition signatures and recently set up an online petition.

    MPs have previously considered introducing a fit-to-drive test.

    A coroner also criticised the "serious lack" of regulations after a 90-year-old woman was knocked down on an Isle of Wight pavement and killed in 2009.

    'Important balance'
    Transport Minister Norman Baker said: "We are working with mobility vehicle trainers, retailers and others to promote more safety training in addition to developing plans for a pilot scheme in which scooter drivers are given a standard eye test. Please note this doesn't apply to electric wheelchairs.

    "There is an important balance to be had between the safety of pedestrians and the mobility of those who would otherwise be left housebound."

    Michelle Mitchell, charity director general at Age UK, said: "Additional laws could discourage vulnerable older people from using mobility scooters meaning that they become unable to access local services, stay in touch with friends, family or in some cases even remain independent.

    "Age UK support the idea of voluntary training for the safety of drivers and other people on the road." Please note these are not electric wheelchairs.

  • Wheelchair ramps in Londons tubes

    During a recent trip to London it was great to see the increase in mobility awareness and the effort that had been made to accommodate wheelchair users. It is a far more wheelchair friendly place than it was when i was last there 3 years ago.

    My first surprise was on arrival at Paddington station where we made our way to the tube station and found a number of wheelchair ramps which bridged the gap between the train and the platform. This had always been a precarious manoeuvre in the past so I was thrilled to see them in place and being used.

    When I asked at one station I was told the wheelchair ramps were put in place a couple of years ago for the Olympic games and the decision has been made to leave them in place. In fact better than that there is a proposal to install more ramps at other stations and tube locations.

    When i got back in front of my computer I looked it up and found this was the case and that there is also a plan to create some raised platform access for us wheelchair users. The more that can be done to make London and other cities wheelchair friendly the better.

  • Wheelchair rugby for all

    Having been beaten in International wheelchair rugby by France only days ago, our interest as a country seems to be hotting up.

    The England V France game was a fantastic match and very close with a final score of 40-42 to France. We came back in the second half from 36-6 and only failed to win after missing a conversion in extra time. Four tries from Harry Brown and two from Chris Greenhalgh helped the fight back against the unbeaten French. England, the defending world champions, also lost to France in their opening group match, going down 28-20. They then went on to beat Ireland 86-8, Wales 50-6 and Australia 81-10.

    Wheelchair rugby is increasingly popular although there are only 8 teams in the UK. The South West recently formed the newest wheelchair rugby club the Westcountry Hawks who are based in Plymouth at The Life Centre and Training is On Monday Evenings between 6pm and 7pm.

    The ambition to succeed amongst these wheelchair users is unbelievable and their skills on the pitch incredible. With players of all ages and both sexes it is very encouraging to see their determination and love of the game. With specialist sports wheelchairs in use there is no stopping them, as this short video shows they really are superhumans: wheelchair rugby video

    As you can see there is no holding back and wheelchair rugby is very much a contact sport with frequent 'tackles' and collisions these wheelchairs are super strong and built to endure knocks on the pitch. The speed with which they cover the pitch is rapid and clearly all involved are having a great time and enjoy the ability to play a wheelchair based team sport. With these aspirations we wish them all the best for their fight to get it no the 2016 paralympics.

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