What would help you live your life a little better?
Is there something in your life that is more tricky because of your impairment? Have you searched for a solution but been unable to find help? Remap is a charity that provide custom-made equipment for disabled people for free. David is here to tell us a little more.
I’m writing to tell everyone about a charity I work for called Remap. It’s a great little charity that provides custom-made equipment for disabled people of all ages, free of charge.
Here’s how it works. We have a network of over 900 volunteers who are engineers, technicians & makers and they are organised in local groups. Remap receives thousands of requests for help each year – some from disabled people or their families, some from occupational therapists or other medical professionals. We then join people together, sending skilled volunteers to visit the people who need an item of equipment.
If there’s a solution on the market we will suggest you get that – Remap helps in cases where there is no suitable item available, or where the item you have needs to be modified or adapted.
So here’s an example. Chloe is four years old and like many other little girls she loves horse riding and wants to ride alongside her big sister. However Chloe has cerebral palsy and cannot walk. She needs to improve her core strength if she is ever going to walk and horse riding is a good way of achieving this, but somebody has to walk alongside her, supporting her as she rides.
Chloe’s mum Emily was keen to find some other way of supporting Chloe in the saddle so that she could ride unaided, but where do you find such a specialist piece of equipment? The local riding club could not help and it was clear that what was needed was something very specific or bespoke. Emily got in touch with Remap and one of our volunteers, Stephen Boulter, went to see them.
Before long Stehpen had designed and made Chloe a special saddle support based on a chest cuff that goes under her arms. This enables Chloe to ride unassisted, providing safe and effective support whilst promoting the use of her core muscles. She can be released quickly and easily and the device is durable, weatherproof, easily cleaned and lightweight. Chloe can now go horse riding by herself. She loves this and can also ride with her sister and even enter competitions.
This project is typical of Remap’s work. Our aim at Remap is to help disabled people become more independent and enjoy a better quality of life. Last year we helped over 3,500 people in this way and we give the equipment free of charge in every case. Other recent examples include:
· Piano wrist support – a gadget to take the weight of the arm through a wrist support to help someone play the piano
· Sensor controls for wheelchair dancers - enabling wheelchair dancers to control the wheelchair from sensors attached to armbands and a headband. The chair moves in response to movement of the head or arm.
· Eating aid for double amputees – a simple aid that enables amputees to eat independently while they are waiting for prosthetic limbs
· Cup holder for one-handed washing up – a simple device that holds a cup or mug still, in the sink, so you can wash it up using one hand.
· The lorry bed - Remap volunteers made a bed for a one year old boy, based on a lorry design. The front swings open so he can get in and out by himself, as mum has fibromyalgia and can’t lift him.
· Joystick for riser/recliner armchair – a riser/recliner armchair was converted from push-button control to joystick control. Made for James whose neurological condition meant he could not hold the original controller.
There’s much more information on the website of course at www.remap.org.uk or you can phone the national office on 01732 760209.
Do you have a challenge for Remap? Remember, we help where there is nothing suitable on the market and give the equipment free of charge.