Remap is a charity that provides custom-made equipment for disabled people of all ages, free of charge. Here’s news of some of their recent work.
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 to ever 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. Fortunately Emily found Remap - a charity that exists just to help people like Chloe, giving greater independence and quality of life as a result. Remap has over 900 volunteer engineers, technicians and specialists who make bespoke items of equipment for individuals free of charge.
Local Remap volunteer Stephen Boulter took on the challenge and before long he 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.
One-handed washing up
Imagine the frustration and difficulty of washing up using only one hand. Doreen lost the use of her left arm following major surgery several years ago. She lives alone and asked Remap to make her a gadget to help her wash up a mug or teacup – she could find no commercial products that were suitable.
Local volunteer Richard Folkson took on the task and decided this would be a good application for the group’s 3-D printer. A washable, plastic base was printed, with stainless steel rods to hold the mug or cup in place. Suction pads hold the device to the bottom of the sink. As a result, Doreen is now able to wash up her mug independently, by placing it in the mug holder.
These projects are typical of Remap’s work. The charity exists to help people like Chloe and Doreen, giving greater independence and quality of life as a result. Last year the charity helped over 3,500 disabled people in this way and is able to give the equipment free of charge in every case. The two cases outlined above were recognised at Remap’s annual awards day in June along with five others:
• 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
• 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.
You can read more about these and other examples of Remap’s work on the website at www.remap.org.uk and discover more about this remarkable charity. There’s a contact page on the website to help you find your nearest group – with over 70 groups across England and Wales there should be one near you.
Remap is a charity that provides custom-made equipment for disabled people of all ages, free of charge. For over 50 years, this unassuming charity has been quietly helping thousands of disabled people to live more independently. It has a network of over 70groups across England and Wales, so there is probably help near you. For more information, visit the Remap website at www.remap.org.uk or phone the national office on 01732 760209.