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This blog post has been written by Glyn Wilkes.

Remap is a charity that helps disabled people regain lost skills and discover new ones. Our volunteers provide a free service, making one-off pieces of equipment when nothing exists commercially. Whether it’s contemporary dancing in a hands-free wheelchair, playing snooker with one arm or turning the pages of a book just by smiling, our inventors are experts at making things possible. We’ve seen the power of innovation to change people’s lives, and so we’re excited to be bringing you the Innovation Zone at Kidz to Adultz Middle.

Have you got an idea for a gadget that could help you? Come and speak to us and we could make it happen! For example, here’s what happened when Glyn came to us with a concept for a remote-controlled wheelchair:

Glyn’s story

I’ve lived with Multiple Sclerosis for the last 18 years. After nearly 12 months of rigorous tests I was finally given my diagnosis. All my life prior had been active, outgoing and fulfilled, so being told at the age of 32 I have MS was something I couldn’t take in straight away.

However, after all the tears, telling family and friends of my condition I decided to tackle this disease head on. At 32 I certainly wasn’t ready to throw in the towel and give up. With the support of family, friends and health professionals I continued to work up until 2 years ago when this cruel disease finally made life too difficult for me to continue to work.

Fortunately it’s only my body that’s taking a beating and not my mind. I still have so much to give.

I contacted Remap to enquire if it would be possible for them to make me a remote control for my powered wheelchair. The benefit of this would be I can get in my car, send my powered wheelchair back into the garage and go for a drive without someone being there to safely store my chair. This has given me back a massive amount of Independence purely on the basis of not having to rely on someone else to be there.

“First contact with Remap was easy. I called central office and they told me someone would be in touch soon. Within the hour a Remap case worker called me to arrange a convenient time for him to come and see me to discuss what I required. After a few weeks my remote control was given to me. I can’t begin to explain what an impact this device has made to me. It is brilliant and has now given me more freedom to come and go as I choose.

I decided that being an ex-engineer myself I would like to get more involved with this charity. Remap are a charity made up mainly from skilled retired engineers but also have other volunteers on board too. This was perfect for me, being an ex-engineer and having a disability fitted nicely.

I can’t manage the physical work my colleagues do so brilliantly therefore I contribute by promoting Remap publicly. We as a group of skilled engineers like to be presented with a problem so we can then solve it, and that’s what we can do. Producing bespoke items that can change a disabled person’s life for the better.

Get in touch

We’re looking forward to meeting you all at Kidz to Adultz Middle. Don’t forget to stop by the Innovation Zone, say hello to some of our volunteers and share your ideas with us – the weirder and wackier the better! And if you just can’t wait until March 15th, you can always get in touch via our website, Facebook or Twitter.

We’d love to hear from you!


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