Ceremonial Mayor Councillor Ronald H Wilson and Mayoress Pat Wilson officially opened the new RDAC Greater Manchester driving assessment centre, part of the nationwide Driving Mobility accredited network, on 1st November 2018.
The new custom-fitted centre is located at the AJ Bell Stadium Salford which welcomed high numbers of visitors to its launch event. Service users, healthcare professionals and partner associates attended the event along with the Mayor and Mayoress of Salford and senior representatives from the Department for Transport. Members from the wider RDAC network came along to support their Manchester colleagues including the CEO, Colin Barnett. Chief Executive of the overseeing charity Driving Mobility, Edward Trewhella, also attended and was delighted to present the new centre’s Assessment Team Manager, Sean Barratt, with its official accreditation certificate.
The charity, Driving Mobility, accredits a UK network of twenty independent organisations which offer professional support and driving assessments to people who need to gain, or retain, the ability to drive following a diagnosis involving impairment or disability. RDAC is part of this network and has been in existence since 1989 – it provides assessments for older and disabled drivers, passengers, motorcyclists and mobility scooter or wheelchair users. The new RDAC centre in Salford will serve people living in Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire. It provides a team of Approved Driving Instructors, Occupational Therapists and Administrative Staff – all focused on providing assessments that can facilitate safe adapted motoring, sometimes with adapted vehicles.
The launch event encompassed displays of the latest adapted driving controls, steering mechanisms and wheelchair accessible vehicles. Speeches were delivered on behalf of RDAC and Driving Mobility and the indoor vehicle assessment bay generated a welcoming space for many visitors to engage and discuss independent driving.
Sean Barratt, Assessment Team Manager, commented: “Today has been a huge success and I would like to thank everyone involved with organising and attending. It has been fantastic to see so many people, both end users, professional therapists and dignitaries, coming together to understand more about the driving assessment services RDAC provide. The Mayor and Mayoress commented on how impressed they were with the variety of adaptations available these days. They spent considerable time with us understanding what we do and how we aim to provide driving independence to as many disabled and elderly locals as possible. We really appreciate the support of the Mayor, Mayoress and Salford City Council – this has enhanced the impact of our centre’s opening and provides the perfect platform for growth and success in the future.”