South East DriveAbility Open Day launches new partnership with East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service
Successful Open Day event to launch a new partnership with East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (ESFRS) enabling increased access to driving and adaptation assessments
South East DriveAbility (SED) based in Aylesford, has held a successful Open Day event to launch a new partnership with East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (ESFRS) enabling increased access to driving and adaptation assessments alongside home fire safety guidance (13th September, Uckfield Fire Station).
Part of Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust, and overseen by the charity Driving Mobility, SED’s team of Occupational Therapists and Approved Driving Instructors provide assessment and advice on driving, car adaptation and vehicle choice for disabled drivers and passengers. Driving Mobility accredits 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.
South East DriveAbility’s well-attended open day event marked the launch of its new Outreach Service at Uckfield Fire Station, which will provide people from the local community with greater access to driving assessment appointments and free fire safety advice from ESFRS. In attendance were the Uckfield Mayor Cllr Spike Mayhew and Deputy Mayor Cllr Jackie Love who were able to view a selection of adapted vehicles, including wheelchair-accessible vehicles (WAVs) that are used for driver and passenger assessments. Visitors were also able to listen to informative presentations from SED, ESFRS and Wealden Police explaining each organisation’s community service provision, watch fire safety demonstrations and gain beneficial information regarding fire prevention within the home.
Anuraj Varshney, Consultant Practitioner and Head of Service at South East DriveAbility, comments: “We are proud to be working with partner organisations in our local community and delighted that our new Outreach Service Open Day was well attended by colleagues from the Fire and Rescue Service, Police Service and local authorities such as the NHS. The event demonstrated an excellent example of how multi agencies can work together to improve road safety and health & well-being for clients from all age groups.”
Anuraj continues: “As with all Driving Mobility centres, we aim to provide a high calibre service and valuable information, hence our partnership with ESFRS now links our specialist driving assessments with free fire safety advice for our clients. The new Outreach Service at Uckfield Fire Station allows us to be more accessible to people living in the region and through a new choice of venue, individuals can benefit from reduced travel times and increased appointment availability. We hope this will encourage more people to contact us for professional driving information and specialist guidance.”
To find out more about the services available from South East DriveAbility visit https://www.kentcht.nhs.uk/service/southeast-driveability
Image:South East DriveAbility and East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service launch new partnership at Uckfield Fire Station Open Day with Uckfield Mayor Cllr Spike Mayhew and Deputy Mayor Cllr Jackie Love.
One Big Day – Yorkshire Event Centre, Harrogate
Saturday 10 August 2019 – 9am to 4pm. One Big Day at the Yorkshire Event Centre, Harrogate provides the perfect opportunity to discover everything you need to know about worry-free motoring with Motability.
Saturday 10 August 2019 – 9am to 4pm
One Big Day at the Yorkshire Event Centre, Harrogate provides the perfect opportunity to discover everything you need to know about worry-free motoring with Motability. There is a huge range of cars, adaptations, Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles, scooters and powered wheelchairs on display and what’s more, admission is free!
One Big Day Harrogate brings together everything available on the Motability Scheme to make joining the Scheme as easy as possible. It’s free to attend and a great day out for the whole family. There will be:
- Over 100 cars, Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs), adaptations, scooters and powered wheelchairs on display
- The opportunity to test drive adapted and non-adapted cars
- Motability Scheme advisors available to chat to
- Free parking, free tea, coffee or soft drink
- A children’s play area including a bouncy castle and more…
At One Big Day Harrogate specialist advice will be available from:
- Motability Scheme advisors
- Adaptation and WAV specialists
- Disabled Motoring UK
- Driving Mobility
- Kwikfit, RAC and RSA Motability
A full list of the exhibitors attending One Big Day at the Yorkshire Event Centre, Harrogate will be available closer to the event date.
East Anglian DriveAbility steers Gary towards safe independent driving from a wheelchair
East Anglian DriveAbility (EAD) has assisted Gary Gray from Braintree to discover motoring independence with a disability.
Part of the Driving Mobility national network of driving assessment centres, East Anglian DriveAbility (EAD) has assisted Gary Gray from Braintree to discover motoring independence with a disability.
Driving Mobility oversees 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. EAD is part of this network with centres in Thetford and Colchester. In addition to driving assessments, its Occupational Therapists and Driving Advisors provide several additional services including guidance regarding specialist paediatric car seats and mobility scooters.
Gary, 53 from Braintree, worked as a Mobile Tyre Fitter until he became ill with peripheral neuropathy in 2011, a condition which develops when nerves in the body’s extremities are damaged. He subsequently spent considerable time dealing with life-changing consequences and was unable to drive for several years. Before contacting EAD, he had attempted to test drive a WAV (Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle), which resulted in damage to the vehicle and a serious dent to his already ‘rock-bottom’ confidence. By self-referring himself to EAD, Gary was determined to find professional and appropriate advice that would re-enable safe independent driving.
Gary comments: “This time a comprehensive assessment took place before I was allowed near a vehicle. This was to provide the EAD staff, including an OT and Approved Driving Instructor, with a true picture of my health, medical requirements and physical and cognitive abilities. It was very professional and completely different to my first experience elsewhere. When I began the actual driving assessment, I was accompanied by specialist staff and received guidance throughout. I tried different options for getting in and out of a vehicle and trialled new assistive controls, such as a steering wheel knob – all at a pace that suited me.”
Following the assessment, EAD provided a comprehensive report which advised Gary on suitable adaptations for safe driving and suggested further lessons would be beneficial. Once these are completed, Gary hopes to choose a vehicle with adaptations via the Motability scheme, based on EAD recommendations.
Gary concludes: “I would really like a drive-from-wheelchair vehicle as this would be easiest for me. EAD have been extremely helpful in showing me all the different aids and adaptations. I now know that a steering wheel knob and wheelchair ramp will be essential which I hadn’t considered before. I feel so informed which will definitely help me with purchasing and driving requirements. Thanks to EAD independent driving is now a possibility for me for the first time in over seven years.”