Having a physical impairment shouldn’t mean you have to rely on others or stop doing certain activities. But it may mean you need to do some things differently. Sometimes, having the right equipment, tailored exactly to your individual needs, can help you maintain independence and do the things you want to do, your way.
Remap is an established national charity which designs, makes or adapts equipment for both adults and children with disabilities. Every year Remap supports around 4,000 people in the UK, helping them to lead more fulfilling and independent lives.
Anyone requiring help is consulted on their needs, then a piece of equipment is designed and made for them to solve their specific problem. Some devices are made from scratch – others are modifications or attachments to standard products. Sometimes it may only be advice that is required.
Valerie, for example, was helped to stay living independently by Remap volunteer, Vic Brown. Her shower control had a circular knob that was hard to turn, so Vic fitted a plastic bar; making a nice long lever control that Valerie can easily turn.
Sometimes Remap can help a whole community. The congregation at St. Peter’s, Wootton Wawen, were struggling with steep steps just inside the old, oak door to the church. There was no railing and nothing could be screwed onto the door or floor of this listed building. A clever handrail was invented by Gary Wooding, another Remap volunteer, which clamps tightly onto the door when needed. After the service, the device is removed and stored inside the church.
In other cases, Remap can help find a solution for people who want to play sport or to try their hand at a new activity, but need supporting equipment to help them do so.
Remap is able to offer these services thanks to its network of volunteers organised into over 70 local groups across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. (Remap in Scotland is run separately). Remap volunteers include professional engineers, craftspeople, technicians, healthcare professionals and skilled helpers as well as DIY enthusiasts.
While there are many companies that provide equipment for people with disabilities, Remap is different in two ways. Firstly, everything provided is a custom-made solution, made carefully for an individual. Secondly, it is not a commercial organisation; as a charity, Remap’s services are free of charge. They do, however, welcome voluntary donations to cover costs of materials.
By working closely with individuals, their families and support services, each person’s needs can be better understood and met. Remap volunteers take pride in finding solutions to help people achieve the tasks they want to. From day-to-day activities such as cooking and dressing, to sports or craft activities like cycling, archery or embroidery, Remap can help.
Bob Barnett, Publicity Officer for the Remap North Essex branch, said:
‘No one should feel isolated because of an infirmity. We will always try to provide the best help we can.’
You can contact Remap directly, or ask your carer or health professional to make a referral. Remap also welcomes people from all walks of life who can contribute to its teams of volunteers. To find out more about how Remap can help you or someone you know, or to volunteer, visit:
www.remap.org.uk/ or call: 01732 760209.