I can take wheelchair skills training on the road to you. As the need for wheelchair skills training and peer support becomes more apparent, some people cannot travel too far from their base or homestead. And as I strive to teach skills to help improve people’s confidence and build independence and share my experience of using a wheelchair, flying, playing sports, and fatherhood; I take skills training on the road.
But if You Can
If individuals can come to me, that’s fine. I have a local hall I hire with all the facilities I need for training. So I don’t always have to take wheelchair skills training on the road.
Firstly, most importantly, it has bathroom facilities. The second most important, I think, is it has good motorway links. J3 or J4 of the M40 are close, and J8/9 of the M4 is only a short stint away from the A404/M at Marlow, which is relatively close. Thirdly the hall and grounds have good challenges already built in, ample indoor space to practice basic skills and get pushing technique correct. But also, a couple of steps suitable used in training as small kerbs. I also use my kerb I travel with, which is a more familiar kerb height, although that depends on who laid the tarmac and how many lorries might have crushed it under their weight after mounting it for whatever reason. Also, there are several different terrains to learn techniques to get over and Tarmac with a degree of camber to master keeping in a straight line. Some uneven paving slabs can also be looked at depending on individual progress.
But, if a client has been recently discharged from the hospital, a long distance in a car might not suit them. Or they may have pets they can’t leave for too long. If this is the case, I can go to them.
Wheelchair Skills to You
If the proposed client’s home is suitable for space, this can be used for training. Would a garden work as well? Sometimes it can! If the client is confident, skill development can continue in their local area (this depends on individual skills progression and confidence using their wheelchair). This can work well for the client to learn how to overcome particular challenges they might face and feel they cannot overcome. But with one-to-one training and guidance, they can learn to overcome this challenge.
In the Past
I have been to many places to support people using their wheelchairs around the country. Manchester, Cambridge, Brighton – many times, Littlehampton, Stevenage, Welwyn-Garden-City, Guildford, and Oxford, to name a few.
When I worked for the Spinal Injuries Charity Back up, I regularly visited Wakefield, Sheffield, Aylesbury and Oswestry to run wheelchair skills training and enjoy the long motorway journeys – especially more now you can download BBC Six music programs.
Recently I visited Peterborough for a skills session as the client couldn’t get to me. I looked at local halls close to the client’s postcode and contacted several to check their booking policies and availability. Old church halls are the best as they will still have some original features (like the hall I hire near me). But sometimes they are not available. The hall I found in Peterborough was perfect. Clean, suitable parking, an accessible toilet and a large area for training and mastering wheelchair control. It also had built-in thresholds, and spring-loaded glass doors presented challenges.
Plenty of community halls around the country are available to hire for training. This hall in Peterborough was another suitable training venue I found to use.
If you are keen to develop your wheelchair skills and gain some peer support but cannot travel to me (postcode SL8 5HZ), then I can come to you*.
Suppose you know a local hall that can be used, then great. If you don’t, I can find one and arrange the hire for your training session*.
If you have any questions, let me know.
*Subject to expenses. Please ask for more detail.
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