In this month’s ‘Driving Mobility Centre of the Month’ we take a look at the William Merritt Centre in Leeds
The William Merritt Centre (WMC) is a charity headed up by 9 trustees, the team is made up of 8 Occupational Therapists, 4 approved Driving Instructors, 1 Occupational Therapist Assistant, 5 support staff and a General Manager.
Their headquarters is in Leeds where they deliver assessments on all aspects of daily living, driving lessons and moving and handling courses for Healthcare Professionals in partnership with Back Exchange.
If you would like to take a tour of their centre, click this link: https://www.wmdlc.org/3d-tour-william-merritt-centre.
WMC also have a satellite Centres in York and Sheffield where they deliver driving assessments, passenger access assessments and driving lessons, we are hoping to expand our satellite Centre in Sheffield to also deliver PWMS (Powered Wheelchair & Mobility Scooter) assessments.
WMC was established 41 years ago during the ‘International Year of Disabled People’, and originally named as William Merritt Aids and Information Centre in memory of Councillor William Merritt. The Centre initially delivered assessments to assist in daily living including bathing, wheelchairs and walking aids.
In 1999 they introduced their driving assessment service to ensure safety and comfort for people when driving with a disability or medical condition.
Following on from that service’s success, they have also introduced:
Switches 4 Kidz (2007) which provides families and professionals with advice on adapted toys, switches and information on access to games consoles, computers, smart phones and tablets.
Tryb4uFly (2014) working in conjunction with QEF (Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People) to provide information and advice when flying with a disability.
Bugzi loan scheme (2015) with the help of MERU, offering a unique opportunity for pre-school children with disabilities to experience independent mobility, often for the first time in their lives.
Shopmobility service (2022) which provides the hire of scooters and powered/manual wheelchairs at the White Rose Centre as well as the Merrion Centre. This service enables people with limited mobility the opportunity to explore Leeds, contribute to the local economy and socialise with friends and family. Creating a platform for people to live independently.
This year the WMC team is very much looking forward to welcoming back their key partners and clients to their AccessAbility Exhibition in June, after having cancelled it 2 years in a row due to the covid-19 pandemic. The AccessAbility exhibition will showcase Assistive Technology, Equipment and Driving for disabled people of all ages, older people and healthcare professionals. You can find out more here: https://www.wmdlc.org/accessability-22-delegates
William Merritt Disabled Living Centre
Aire House, 100 Town Road, Rodley, Leeds, LS13 1HP