A drunken disabled man has been banned from his scooter

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An unconscious disabled man was found under the influence of alcohol at the wheel of his mobility scooter by a police community support officer.

Mr Yusef Khalifa 52 of Old Colwyn, Gwynedd, admitted he had polished off two bottles of wine before going out on his mobility scooter, Llandudno magistrates heard.

He admitted being in charge of a mechanically-propelled vehicle when he was three times over the drink drive limit and also admitted to having a folding knife.

He was found guilty and banned from driving any vehicle for six months.

Mr Yusef Khalifa was also handed a six-month community order, along with a fine and legal costs coming to a total of £385.

Engineer Invents Futuristic Wheelchair For His Best Mate


When engineer Kevin Halsalls best friend Marcus Thompson was left paraplegic after a skiing accident,Kevin decided to develop a wheelchair that would work with the previous active lifestyle of Marcus.

In New Zealand the engineer developed a wheelchair that could be a game changer, called the Ogo and based on the functions of a Segway that lets the rider move precisely, move freely and without using their hands.

He added in features not seen on other wheelchairs like being able to change wheels for going on different terrains, and still being able to travel at 20km, even off road.

4 years in development, the prototype has certainly had a lot of work put into it by Kevin and Marcus and is now in the National Innovators Awards as a finalist, along with which it will also be made available for purchase by the public.

“The disabled are exactly like you and me, they all need freedom and excitement in their life. Ogo takes that to a whole new level. It will go faster, it will go more places and is smaller and lighter than just about anything else.The fact that you can operate it completely hands-free makes Ogo a definite game-changer”.
– Kevin Halsall

Golfer Banned Off Course On Mobility Scooter

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77 year old Brian Yates from Lockington has been a member at his golf course in Beverley for over 10 years, but he has now been told mobility scooters are no longer allowed on the course. Brian refers to his scooter as his buggy and because of his age and a heart problem he cannot get out and around the course without it. When the club told him the new he could not believe it, and he has had to leave his club of ten years and all of his friends there and find someone different.

The golf club issued a letter to all its course members informing them of the ban, which has been introduced by the Beverley Pasture Masters, who run the golf course at The Beverley Westwood Golf Club

Stewart Fraser is the director of golf at the club, which rents the land from the Masters.

He said they had now lost three members who use mobility scooters and were disappointed by the new rule.

“We were, of course, very disappointed as it means three of our members will no longer to be able to play on the course, which is regrettable,” he said.

“We tried to fight against the decision but it is out of our hands. We are simply tenants of the land so we have to comply with our landlords and enforce
their orders.”

The Beverley Pasture Masters will talk more on the matter at their next committee meeting on Thursday, October 22.

Clubs old traditions

Centuries-old and being a member of this exclusive group who look after Beverley’s pastures is no easy feat.

To gain membership you must be a Freeman of Beverley, meaning you are the son or daughter of a Freeman.

Twelve Pasture Masters are then voted in every March by other Freeman.

The rules used to be that only sons could become Freeman, but in 2010, the bylaws were changed to allow women to join.

Thousands Of Mobility Scooter Miles For Ex-Soldier


49 year old veteran Mark Newton has already travelled round Wales, and set the world record for the longest distance
travelled on a mobility scooter, and he keeps on going.

Mark’s Military career came to an end after he suffered a leg injury, but now the former army tank driver
is travelling 11,000 miles around the country on a mobility scooter. His original website RoundWales.co.uk
now tracks his journey, and with his other ventures he has covered a whopping total of 17,300.24 Miles
raising £53,032.76 so far.

His current aim around the whole country is to take photos and note every military memorial in the United Kingdom,
with the money raised going to charity.

Currently he is going to be in Somerset over the next few months, with his cats in tow. His epic adventure could take
upto 10 years to complete.

You can keep track of Mark’s journey on his website RoundWales.co.uk and if you wish to donate, you can do this securely
via Virgin Money Giving. Mark is raising the money for Help For Heroes, SSAFA, The Royal British Legion and Lifeboats RNU.

England win the Wheelchair Rugby League European Championship

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England claim victory and win the Wheelchair Rugby League European Championship beating the former world champions France 28-24.
England team Captain Jack Brown scored the needed points with a hat-trick try after Joe Coyd’s try took the game into extra time.

The chairman of Wheelchair RL, Martin Coyd, said: “England and France are the best two teams in the world.

“We haven’t been near them since 2011. The calmness of the players was fantastic.”

The European cup was held at Medway Park in Kent, and a five team tournament with Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and England competing.

Had you previously heard that the England wheelchair rugby team had been in and won the European Cup?, do you think it needs more exposure in the media?.

How Beach Wheelchairs Are Making UK Coastlines Accessible To The Disabled

Northumberland has some amazingly beautiful beaches, and designer Phil Pugh has been working hard to help disabled wheelchair users have access to the local beaches where they may have had difficulty before.

Working closely with Northumberland County Council and Active Northumberland, Mr Pugh has been looking at specially adapted makes and models of wheelchairs that can move across sand. His project has enabled a local Northumberland boy to experience the joys of the beach for the first time in many years.

Harry Purdy, aged 10, helped to test out the new designs, and his mum Debra, commented in a press interview that she thought the chairs were fantastic. She has not been able to take Harry to the sea front since he was 3 years old.

Debra added: “I would use the chairs regularly and I imagine a lot of other parents would too. I hope the trials continue and the new models are available soon.”

The team, working on Blyth beach, tested out the Tundra model, which is designed to take standard manual wheelchairs, and also the Desert model, which is still in the design stages, should eventually be able to take a whole range of designs.

Trials are still ongoing, and are part of a county wide scheme to help more wheelchair users access the local beaches in the area. It is hoped that feedback from the trials can be put forward during a meeting in October with councilors and Active Northumberland to explore the funding potential to provide beach wheelchairs locally.

You may be surprised to learn that there already are specially adapted wheelchairs made by by some wheelchair manufacturers, and many beach wheelchairs are in use in popular holiday destinations across the world.

Being physically disabled doesn’t mean that you should be deprived of a quality lifestyle, or not to be able to go where you please. So if you love the beach but feel it would be impossible to enjoy it because of your wheelchair, then this will be great news to you!

If you live by the sea, or like to visit the beach regularly, there are some models of beach wheelchairs that have become more affordable recently, and can be an appealing investment if you are going to get good use from it.

Just like with standard wheelchairs, you can get beach wheelchairs in either manual or electric versions. The manual versions are operated by the user, and the electric versions are controlled by either buttons or a joystick.

When you choose to buy a beach wheelchair, you can have it customised to suit your needs, in just the same way as you would with any other sort of wheelchair. So you can choose your favourite colour, upholstery design etc.

Most beach wheelchairs feature sling style seats to ensure a comfortable ride. Some even allow you to attach a sun parasol to the frame so you can enjoy a sunny beach without the risk of sun burn.

Beach wheelchairs are quite flexible because although they have been specifically designed for the beach, you can use them elsewhere too, so a great idea for a beach holiday where you may not want to keep switching chairs each time you leave the beach.

With the UK having more than 1,200 beaches, having the use of a beach wheelchair means that more of the coastline can now be opened up to the disabled, and taking a UK beach holiday is no longer as restrictive as it was before.

It is worth checking if a holiday destination have a beach wheelchair available. So far there is no definitive list of places that do have one, and of the 102 Blue Flag beaches, around 90% are wheelchair accessible, but less than 50% of these actually provide a beach wheelchair for public use.

British woman wins wheelchair tennis Grand Slam

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Jordanne Whiley has become the first British woman to win wheelchair tennis Grand Slam

23 year old Jordanne Whiley from Birmingham is the first British woman to win a wheelchair
tennis Grand Slam singles title after she won the US Open on Sunday 13th September 2015. It was the first womens
single Grand Slam Final that Jordanne had played in.

Jordanne beat the defending World number 3 champion Yui Kamiji of Japan 6-4, 0-6, 6-1, winning the game on the ninth championship point.
She is no stranger to tennis as she is already the UK’s most successful tennis player. After suffering with brittle bone disease doctors told
her she would never play sport again, how very wrong they were.

Jordanne and Yui were previous doubles team mates and are also best friends, it was hard for them to compete against each other but a great match
and Jordanne showed she was the best player, earning the well deserved Grand Slam singles title.

Wheelchair basketball: Great Britain women win Euro bronze

The GB Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team are celebrating after their victory to earn their fifth consecutive European bronze medal!

With their target in mind of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, the Great Britain Women’s team headed out onto court inspired to put in their best performance for the finals of the 2015 European Wheelchair Basketball Championships.

The team struck bronze by convincingly rising to a gritty challenge thrown down by France, and defeated them with a 69-39 win to successfully defend their 2013 bronze medal.

The European Wheelchair Basketball Championships were held this year from the 28th August to the 6th September at the University of Worcester Arena. The championships form part of the UK Sport’s National Lottery funded ‘#EveryRoadtoRio programme’, that supports UK athletes as they prepare and qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Wheelchair Championships saw 19 teams from across 12 nations compete, with the top five men’s teams and top four women’s teams earning their Rio 2016 Paralympic place.

Our GB Women’s team successfully earned both a place in Brazil and the European Championship semi finals achieving 4 out of 6 wins in the group stage of the event, beating Turkey (76-23), France (79-37), Italy (69-10), and Spain (54-50), and only losing out to Germany (39-53) and the Netherlands (52-64).

The bronze medal game saw a nail-biting start with the opening shots not fall for either teams. However, GB forged ahead to be first on the scoreboard after Jordanna Bartlett skilfully managed to sink a fantastic shot (2-0).

France came back to level the game on 2-2, but the GB Women proved too strong, and took it to a 12-2 lead at the end of the opening 10 minutes.

Great Britain continued to put the pressure on, and inspired by their early lead, continued to push forwards in the second quarter, playing their way to a 21 point lead within five minutes. France came back hard to score some points, but in the end Great Britain edged out their opponents by 27-11 to enter half time with a 39-13 advantage.

The third quarter, and the GB Women rallied once again to dominate play at both ends of the court increasing their lead by 59-21 with just 10 minutes left on the clock.

France dug in and put up a gritty performance, but in the final quarter the GB Women’s Team closed out a 69-39 victory, ensuring the nation’s fifth consecutive Women’s European Bronze Medal.

In a press interview with Head Coach Miles Thompson, he said: “Our goal was to get to the final, so it’s disappointing to come in third. But this team, the athletes, are so strong in spirit and the way they approach all the hard work that I couldn’t be prouder and I couldn’t be more optimistic about Rio.”

The Championships have been a result of a collaborative partnership between the British Wheelchair Basketball (BWB), the University of Worcester, with support from Worcestershire County Council, Worcester City Council and Worcestershire Local Enterprise.

Elderly Being Ripped Off When Buying Disabled Mobility Scooters

mobility scooters

With an ageing population on the rise, the demand for mobility scooters is also growing. However, a recent news feature said this is being seen by some retailers as an opportunity to take advantage of pensioners looking for new mobility scooters.

Prices for mobility scooters are reaching an all time high at £6,800 with some retailers, but are these high prices really justified?

Disabled Mobility Scooter Exploitation

Because there is such a demand for scooters from the elderly to enable them to keep their independence, and enjoy their old age in relative freedom, some unscrupulous retailers believe they can charge what they like for a new mobility scooter.

Viewed as a captive market, some retailers may be taking advantage of the desires of the elderly to carry on with their normal lives, and are slapping on higher price tags because they know they are not only selling the scooter itself, but also the idea of the freedom the scooter will allow the pensioners to have.

The National Pensioners Convention (NPC), have openly accused scooter sellers of exploiting their position of trust, and taking full advantage of the fact that there is so little regulation in place regarding mobility scooters.

The NPC are one of the largest lobby groups for the elderly in Britain, and believe that pensioners are wide open to exploitation by retailers because of the ever rising demand in the market for scooters.

It is not only new mobility scooter sales that the NPC are concerned about. There is also a growing market for second-hand scooters, but with the lack of regulation in the market, and the ability for scooter owners to drive without a licence or any form of instruction or lessons, there is concerns over the safety aspect of second-hand sales.

Getting What You Pay For

With so many makes and models available on the market, the price you pay for a mobility scooter can range from under £1,000 for a basic model to the heady price of £6,800 for a model that is built for all-weathers with glass screen and full cover.

Although you can quite often find a better deal when you shop online, sometimes the price you pay will mean you assembling the scooter yourself once delivered. It pays to check the sales small print to make sure you know what you are paying for.

Even the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) have weighed in on the issue. The official regulator has openly criticised two of the UK’s leading mobility scooter retailers, stating that they are restricting consumers ability to get good value for money.

The two companies that were named by the OFT are Pride Mobility, in Bicester, Oxfordshire, and Roma Medical Aids. Both companies were seen to have ‘infringed competition law’ with their sales practices.

Finding A Good Retailer

Despite the findings of the OFT, there are some very good retailers out there that are not out to rip off their elderly customers. The best way to find them is to shop around and compare prices, models and services available.

An example of a good mobility scooter buy was found by Doug Somerset, 63, from Bexleyheath. Doug has suffered with mobility issues for 20 years, relying on mobility scooters and wheelchairs.

The retired engineer paid £939 for his ProRider Road King mobility scooter, and he is very happy with his purchase. The Pro Rider Road King Scooter has a maximum speed of 8 mph, with a range of up to 35 miles, as well as a massive 1100 Watt motor.

The ProRider is one of the cheapest on the market, but the quality and build is of a very high standard, and suits Mr Somerset’s needs very well. However, Mr Somerset was not surprised to see a similar model on sale with other retailers for £2,500 or more.

In a recent newspaper interview, Mr Somerset said, “Disabled people and pensioners are being used as a licence to print money by some retailers. Many of these mobility scooters are pretty poorly made, with cheap components and the mark-up is astonishing. In some cases people are simply being ripped off. Something needs to be done about it.”

According to RICA, a charity that conducts consumer research for the disabled and elderly, there is an issue with the pricing of mobility scooters. Customers are confused about how much they should be paying for a scooter. There is such a huge variation in price that customers can be left bewildered.

RICA advise people to shop around for the best deals, and look closely at what is included in the price, particularly in terms of an assessment, warranty, servicing, delivery and assembly.

Jeans Designed for Wheelchair users

A paralyzed designer has created comfortable and stylish jeans specifically for women who use wheelchairs.

When you think about it, most of our clothing is made around a standard design without much consideration for the needs of people with disabilities. This is now set to change because of the influence of a lady called Heidi McKenzie, a T4 paraplegic who has designed a whole new jeans collection canned Alter Ur Ego, which have been created with people who use wheelchairs in mind.

Discovering a niche

Heidi, who was left paralysed at the age of 21 from a serious car accident, first came up with the idea when she discovered she was not alone in experiencing difficulty finding comfortable yet flattering clothes that could fit a seated figure.

Heidi took part in Ms. Wheelchair Kentucky 2012, and after talking with her fellow competitors about their own issues with suitable clothing, she sparked off an idea in her mind that would lead to her branching into the fashion world.

Now aged 29, Heidi teamed up with designer Kristin Alexadra Tidwell, and together they came up with the design for a functional and adaptable pair of jeans that would feel comfortable and look good on a wheelchair user.

Not just for the ladies

The jeans have been adapted to fit both men and women, include large side pockets that are easy to access, are made with Spandex for ultimate comfort, as well as being cut with a high-waisted back and tummy control panel. There is also a discreet catheter opening.

Designed to fit the needs of wheelchair users, Heidi has done away with the useless front and back pockets found on regular style jeans, as well as incorporating a hight fit on the waist that prevents the jeans cutting into your hips while sitting. The special design also makes the jeans easier for users to pull on and off.

Heidi had always wanted to work in fashion, and that is what she was concentrating on before her tragic car accident. After her recuperation, she restarted her plan and graduated from a small business programme before taking an accelerated course on how to start a clothing line.

Changing focus

Originally, Heidi wanted to own her own fashion retail store, but her accident helped her to realise that she could design her own range of clothing for wheelchair users because of her first hand experience.

While researching and studying, she found that most adaptable clothing has always been targeted towards the elderly, and what she was seeing was not really fashionable or flexible enough for people to express their own individual tastes or personalities.

The main aim for her designs, other than fashion and comfort, is for the wearer to be able to feel confident while wearing their jeans because they were made for wheelchair users.

A bright future

So far, Heidi has received nothing but compliments for her forward thinking designs, even to a point where non-wheelchair users have noticed the useful side pockets on the jeans, and have asked where they can buy a pair.

The great news is that Heidi is not going to stop at only designing jeans for her Alter Ur Ego range. She also plans to design and launch a whole range of sustainable clothing that will include dresses, jackets and blouses.

All the new designs she has in mind will be specifically for wheelchair users, and she hopes that her new clothing ranges will help to give her customers confidence to express themselves, and to break down more social barriers.