BBC Top Gear winning TGA mobility scooter to open up world of discovery for disabled people at new Kintyre outdoor activity centre

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Following a £30,000 lottery grant, the Network Caradale group located in scenic Kintyre, South West Scotland will be opening a new outdoor activity centre early next year with forest trails that are accessible to disabled people, thanks to the acquisition of a BBC Top Gear winning TGA Breeze.

Carradale was once a busy fishing village and a popular holiday destination served by the Clyde steamers however today it is more popular with visitors looking for an outdoor experience which includes forest trekking, wildlife spotting and mountain biking. The Network Caradale group, who originally managed a small café where the new outdoor activity centre will open, is a community business and registered charity that is now lottery funded and consists of 11 local directors. It is the intention of the group to modernise the original tearoom and simultaneously open a mountain bike hire centre, heritage museum and a hub for disabled people to access the rural surroundings. If this first phase is successful, the group plans to launch further activities such as archery and canoeing which will hopefully pull even more tourists into the area and give a valuable boost to the local economy.

Inclusion for everyone, regardless of ability, is a key focus for the new outdoor activity centre, which has resulted in the Caradale centre purchasing a TGA Breeze mobility scooter. Primarily designed to be a luxury mobility scooter for everyday use, the Breeze also has superb off road capabilities that were demonstrated on the BBC Top Gear TV programme earlier in the year. This feature was seen by over 8 million viewers including Jim Galbraith, one of the Caradale Directors, which sparked his group’s idea to focus on ‘accessibility for all’ at the new outdoor activity centre.

Jim explains: “When I saw how well the TGA Breeze performed climbing up a Welsh mountainside on BBC Top Gear, I was very impressed. I hadn’t realised that certain mobility scooters had these superb off road capabilities and this opened up my mind to the Breeze’s suitability for our centre. The terrain the Breeze tackled was extreme during this TV programme and consisted of slippy mud, steep inclines and rocky paths that are also common in our area here in Argyll. However, to ensure suitability for a wide range of disabled visitors, we are organising a range of less extreme trails that start and finish at the centre and will be graded according to rider ability, distance and terrain. The Breeze with its 30-mile range will have ample battery power to complete these routes and its impressive active suspension will easily deliver a smooth and stable ride for users during the trails. Four of our five pre-planned forest trails will now be accessible for both able and disabled visitors with the idea that active visitors can cycle side-by-side with users of the TGA Breeze – total inclusion for all. We do have another new scooter for hire and if these prove popular, then we plan to purchase more in the future, especially if we can find a commercial sponsor who can help with funding.”

The Caradale group intend to target and promote the new outdoor activity centre to individuals with a wide range of disabilities from amputee ex-servicemen and women through to elderly people and younger individuals with specific conditions. The centre is backed by the Forestry Commission and is located near to three hotels in the village of Caradale, which will provide accommodation for larger groups from further afield looking to access the forest and coastline. A new website, informative leaflets and trail maps will be available soon, all detailing the capabilities of the TGA Breeze.

Jim concludes: “These are indeed exciting times for us as we have just taken receipt of our new mobility scooters, the 16 quality mountain bikes are close to delivery and the new centre nears completion. We aim to be fully operational by March and we are currently in contact with the Forth & Tay Disabled Ramblers association in regards to finalising our pre-planned routes for disabled visitors. On initial contact with this group, I asked whether they would recommend a certain type of mobility scooter that would be both highly reliable and suitable for use in the rural environment. They strongly suggested the TGA Breeze that reaffirmed my opinion following its success during the Top Gear extreme challenge. We are delighted to have now purchased one of these excellent machines and are all filled with great anticipation regarding its first outing when the centre opens next year.”

www.tgamobility.co.uk

www.tgamobility.co.uk/product/breeze-s4

www.tgamobility.co.uk/tga-top-gear

 

TGA launches new 39 stone capacity Breeze S4 Max mobility scooter for larger users

TGA launches new 39 stone capacity Breeze Max mobility scooter for larger users

TGA launches new 39 stone capacity Breeze S4 Max mobility scooter for larger users

In response to market demand for mobility scooters capable of carrying larger users, TGA Mobility has launched the new heavy-duty Breeze S4 Max which has an increased rider weight capacity of 39 stone.

TGA has enhanced the engineering of the market-leading Breeze S4 throughout so that this Max version can provide ergonomic mobility for larger and heavier users. It encompasses a more powerful motor with added torque so that the high levels of performance associated with the Breeze brand are maintained whilst carrying a larger user. The all-round active coil suspension has been strengthened and the Breeze S4 Max has wider rear wheels and tyres for additional traction and power. It also has a wider, pivoting orthopaedic seat that provides unrestricted mounting and dismounting for the larger user.

Daniel Stone, TGA Managing Director explains: “Continually investing in mobility scooter development so we can offer market leading products is essential. We understand the needs of end users are always changing and with a trend towards larger scooter owners, we felt launching the Breeze Max was a necessity. Amongst several examples, we have already encountered one instance whereby an individual weighing 35 stone needed a mobility scooter but had been unable to discover a solution that would carry his weight safely anywhere in the UK. That was until he discovered the TGA Breeze Max. We have worked closely with our manufacturer’s R&D team to develop this mobility scooter and are proud to be able to now provide a robust and reliable solution to a new audience.”

The Breeze range from TGA has an established and respected reputation for providing exceptional reliability, comfort and build quality. The new and enhanced 39 stone capacity Breeze S4 Max continues this superb heritage and has a single charge range of up to 48km (30 miles). Modern aesthetics reflecting the direction of automotive design can be seen throughout the widened chassis moulding and its shock absorbers have been built for a smooth ride over uneven terrain. Similar to the new technology incorporated in the Midi models, the new 39 stone Breeze S4 Max encompasses energy absorbing bumpers for added safety and to minimise lateral movement whilst driving. The rear transaxle motor delivers all the power to tackle a 9.5o slope with ease and the adapted ergonomic tiller provides comfortable positioning for an individual of increased size. An innovative rigid canopy for all weather protection is optional.

www.tgamobility.co.uk

STOKE CITY FOOTBALLING LEGENDS TO SUPPORT FELLOW EX-PLAYER OPEN NEW AMORCARE MOBILITY STORE

Co-directors Andy and Nicky Morgan outside their new Amorecare mobility store in Stafford, displaying the TGA Eclipse mobility scooter which will be presented as a prize by Stoke City footballing legend, Terry Conroy.

Co-directors Andy and Nicky Morgan outside their new Amorecare mobility store in Stafford, displaying the TGA Eclipse mobility scooter which will be presented as a prize by Stoke City footballing legend, Terry Conroy.

To celebrate the opening of Amorcare Mobility’s second store in Stafford, Stoke City legendary footballer Terry Conroy and potentially more players are to attend a competition winning presentation on 17 December 2012, in support of the business’s co-owner and fellow ex Stoke FC footballer Andy Morgan.

Andy Morgan, aged 50 and born locally in Silverdale, is the co-owner of Amorcare Mobility Stores and before setting up this business with his wife Nicky (41 from Kidsgrove), he played professional football for Stoke City and gained an international cap for Wales. Following his time at Stoke he played all around the world and after retirement from the game, he became their Community Manager for over 10 years followed by eight years at Wolverhampton Wanderers in a similar role. Today, Andy and Nicky are proud owners of Amorcare, which is a very successful mobility specialist that really makes a difference to the lives of many elderly and disabled locals. Their first specialist mobility outlet in Newcastle-under-Lyme’s High Street has been a huge success and is now to be complemented with an additional 820sqft retail showroom at 12-14 Crabbery Street, Stafford. As Andy’s strong connections with Stoke FC are still very much present, legendary winger Terry Conroy and possibly Mick Pejic, Dennis Smith and ex-England Goalkeeper Gordon Banks, will be presenting a free TGA Eclipse mobility scooter to the winner of a competition being run by Amorcare.

In celebration of this new mobility shop opening, Amorcare is offering the chance to win a market-leading TGA Eclipse mobility scooter that is ideal for shopping around town and taking further afield in the boot of a car. This free prize draw runs from 19 November until 17 December and can be entered by simply completing a competition slip within the new showroom. Once the lucky competition winner has been selected at random, Terry will present the prize on the 17 December at the new showroom, which promises to be an exciting event. This new Amorcare showroom, similar to the sister store in Newcastle, will stock a comprehensive range of quality mobility products from TGA scooters such as the BBC Top Gear winning Breeze 4, Vita and Sonet through to smaller aids for daily living.

Andy explains: “We established Amorcare in 2009 following 18 months of extensive research into the provision of independent living products locally. We found that after sales care was severely lacking and hence decided to set up our business firmly based upon a service level that people could truly rely upon. Even our company name was derived from this caring approach – ‘Amor’ means love and ‘care’, well, means care! This ensures whatever mobility product they purchase from us, whether it is a TGA mobility scooter known as the ‘Mercedes of the industry’ or simply a small walking-stick ferrule, our customers have peace of mind that it will really solve their personal mobility issues. We really care about our customers and have vast experience with helping mature and disabled people in the local area through visiting them at home and even calling out the Bingo numbers at local care homes! Nicky and I are so excited about our new shop opening and can’t wait to start giving more independence to local Stafford people with restricted mobility.”

Andy concludes: “Nicky and I are so chuffed that Terry can take time out of his busy charity schedule to come and present the TGA Eclipse to our lucky winner – it is a fantastic piece of kit that will make a real difference to someone’s life. If the other lads I know from Stoke FC can make it too for the presentation, which they have said might be possible, even better! This new shop represents a major milestone in our business career and we genuinely believe in making a difference to the well being of locals who need help with mobility.”

www.tgamobility.co.uk

www.amorcaremobilitystores.co.uk

 

Top amputee disabled golfer plans greater success in 2013 on new TGA Breeze Golf Mobility Scooter

Kevin Harmison is one of the UK’s top disabled golfers and now plans further success on the Pro-Am tour during 2013 thanks to his new TGA Breeze Golf mobility scooter.

Kevin Harmison is one of the UK’s top disabled golfers and now plans further success on the Pro-Am tour during 2013 thanks to his new TGA Breeze Golf mobility scooter.

Kevin Harmison, 47 from Bedlington, Northumberland, is one of the UK’s leading disabled golfers with a 2 handicap, who amongst many accolades, has recently won the Scottish Disability Golf Partnership (SDGP) Open Championships and is now planning further success thanks to his new and unique fairway-friendly TGA mobility scooter.

Following in a family tradition, Kevin has been a talented sportsman from a very early age and before playing golf full-time, he was a successful part-time cricketer who played for the North of England and an accomplished semi-professional footballer. For 18 years he played for teams such as Bedlington Terriers FC and regularly took on the role of Captain whilst playing at Centre-half. Kevin would always ‘lead from the front’ and thoroughly enjoyed the game before his industrial accident on 15 July 2004, which tragically resulted in him losing a leg. He was working a night shift at an aluminum foundry when during a smelting procedure he accidentally slipped into a melting pot, which resulted in extensive burns to his leg and subsequent amputation. He spent over two months in hospital and a further two years experiencing medical complications and undergoing rehabilitation following this horrific ordeal – a highly draining period in Kevin’s life. However he pulled through and began playing golf more regularly, which through his natural sporting prowess, resulted in his handicap dropping to near Scratch despite his disability. A near perfect golf swing was now not an issue, however Kevin’s mobility in and away from the course was becoming a challenge until he saw a new type of mobility scooter at the Scottish Disability Open Championships in Kinross.

Kevin explains: “I am proud of my achievements to date on the golf course with tournament wins in the UK and across Europe, notable against 70 entrants during a competition in Valencia and at the Disabled British Open, however I am always looking to improve my game. Straightforward accessibility around the course is crucial for this and so I was really excited to see this new type of Breeze Golf mobility scooter when playing in Kinross. TGA Mobility the manufacturer were supporting the Scottish Open and brought along one of the models to the course. Some of the competitors recognised it immediately from its appearance on BBC Top Gear and I really liked the idea of the Breeze not only being fairway-friendly with wider wheels similar to a golf buggy, but also being road legal and having a 30-mile range. The fact that you could just load up your clubs on the special attachment and go appealed to me, plus my everyday would be so much easier away from the course.”

Kevin continues: “Considering I am looking to enter more Pro-Am competitions next year and have a sponsorship deal undergoing development, increased mobility during these events will be essential for me which this TGA Breeze will now deliver. If I am to compete on the elite tour of disabled golf against the likes of the world famous one-legged Manual de los Santos, I need to spend even more time on the course and training, which I can now do. I am also keen to get involved with pushing for Paralympic golf to be a recognised event by 2016 as the sport will be played at the Olympics for the first time in Rio. Qualification to be a member of Team GB needs to be taking place very soon in my opinion and I would be delighted to have the opportunity to represent my country. My game keeps improving and I think I would have a great chance of bringing home a medal.”

The 12km/h (8mph) Breeze S4 Golf is a 4-wheel mobility scooter that is part of the renowned Breeze family from TGA. It has an established and respected reputation for providing exceptional reliability, comfort and build quality and the Golf version is adapted with wider wheels and an optional golf bag attachment. The wider tyres provide softer contact with fairways so that good traction is maintained without damaging the playing surface. It has a range of up to 48km (30 miles) that is ample range for 18 holes and the Breeze can safely climb a 9.5 degree slope – perfect for manoeuvring around bunkers and out of bounds if needed.

Kevin summarises: “My golf club at Newbiggin has been so supportive of me and welcomes the use of my new Breeze Golf. It has helped to increase my time on the course actually hitting a ball instead of walking which has made a big difference to my training regime. Now I have complete access to the course and local area, I feel sure I could achieve even more in 2013 if I can find additional sponsors to fund my tour plans. As I grew up in a hard working Geordie family with very little money, I am no stranger to a challenge and now my accident is far behind me, I am ready for anything.”

Daniel Stone, TGA’s Managing Director concludes: “We are delighted to hear that our new Breeze Golf is making such a difference to Kevin and his prospects for further tournament wins in the future. TGA are always committed to supporting individuals, groups and societies wanting to improve independence, inclusion and enjoyment – we believe the TGA Breeze S4 Golf mobility scooter does just that.”

www.tgamobility.co.uk

www.sdgp.co.uk

Retired Royal marine and wife rediscover a love for life onboard ‘Harley Davidson’ TGA mobility scooters

Adrian and Phyllis Spriggs from Dundee venture out together once more on their new ‘easy rider’ TGA mobility scooters

Adrian and Phyllis Spriggs from Dundee venture out together once more on their new ‘easy rider’ TGA mobility scooters

Amputee ex-Royal Marine Adrian Spriggs, 60, from Dundee and his mobility-restricted wife Phyllis are two lively remarried characters who have both rediscovered their love for the outdoors thanks to two ‘Easy Rider’ TGA mobility scooters following the tragic loss of their previous partners.

Originally from Bournemouth and before retiring, Adrian was a Royal Marine who saw active service on the frontline in Northern Ireland during the troubled 1970s. Seven years ago he met Phyllis from Dundee through online dating after they had both experienced partners passing away. Subsequently this resulted in Adrian relocated to Scotland and they became married again six years ago. However as time has progressed, Adrian’s disability has resulted in an increased difficulty to venture outside that has impacted on their wellbeing and happiness.

The Spriggs live in a very picturesque part of Scotland on the Firth of Tay coastline however they were not able to enjoy going out together until Adrian discovered the TGA Supersport as he explains: “I first saw this marvelous TGA scooter in a Motability magazine and was attracted by its Harley Davidson type styling. It looked robust and sturdy enough to help me venture off road in my local rural area so I thought I would request a test drive. Well, Harry who demonstrated the Supersport was brilliant and I was immediately convinced this could change my life. As soon as my scooter arrived I was off discovering new places down cycle tracks and coastal paths that were far from roads and which I never knew existed. The only problem was my wife can’t walk very far either, so I couldn’t share my new found freedom with her which made me sad.”

Adrian continues, “Our two-year-old Jack Russell Sasha needs regular walking and we love to spend time outdoors with our grandchildren on their bikes. I was now fully mobile and loving my ‘Harley’ scooter however it was not so good for Phyllis, that is until she decided to also purchase a TGA scooter. She selected a Breeze Midi 3 which is another three-wheel model from TGA but is more compact than my Supersport so ideal for around town. Since we have both owned a mobility scooter, I can honestly say life couldn’t be better and I can now continue with my passion for painting and photography. We both go off adventuring together so I can capture local scenes on my camera, which I then convert into oil and acrylic paintings when I get home. Phyllis can easily get into the local village to do the shopping and I love travelling along the coast. We like putting pictures of ourselves on our scooters on Facebook and would recommend these fantastic TGA machines to everyone with mobility difficulties.”

Adrian’s TGA ‘Easy Rider’ Supersport is popular across the UK, as it resembles a Harley Davidson motorbike more than a traditional mobility scooter. Many interesting and unique individuals ride TGA Supersports such as Janet Weller from Gloucestershire who uses it for dog agility training, Mike Bruton MBE from Berkshire owns one as the President of the Disabled Ramblers and Steve Bunker from Yorkshire pimped his up with car wheels and air horns! One of the more established products from TGA, the Supersport has an impressive and trusted heritage for stability, manoeuvrability and the capability to handle most off road situations. Whether providing independence in town or in rural settings, it has the advantage of a top speed of 12km/h (8mph), a range of 48km (30miles) and a high ground clearance of 125mm (5”).

www.tgamobility.co.uk

www.tgamobility.co.uk/product/supersport

The Mobility Roadshow: the road to celebrating 30 years of success

Celebrating 30 years as the UK’s original consumer mobility and independent lifestyle event, dedicated to people with disabilities of all ages, next year’s Mobility Roadshow will be held at the Telford International Centre on 27th, 28th and 29th June 2013.

Celebrating 30 years as the UK’s original consumer mobility and independent lifestyle event, dedicated to people with disabilities of all ages, next year’s Mobility Roadshow will be held at the Telford International Centre on 27th, 28th and 29th June 2013.

In 2013 the Mobility Roadshow celebrates 30 years of showcasing solutions to meet the nation’s mobility needs at the Telford International Centre (27-29 June). For those of you who weren’t there at the beginning, here’s a brief background to the UK’s most enduring consumer mobility event…

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Back in 1983 there was a modest range of vehicles and adaptations around to meet the needs of disabled motorists, but the opportunity to assess what was available and choose what suited you was virtually non-existent. Ann Frye, working at that time in the Department of Transport’s Disability Unit, recognised that this was a gap that urgently needed filling, and came up with the concept for an event to give disabled people the chance not just to look at what was available but also to try out different options.

The Test Drive Control at The first Mobility Roadshow in 1983

The Test Drive Control at The first Mobility Roadshow in 1983

The idea of the Mobility Roadshow was to provide a forum for manufacturers and adaptation companies to bring together a range of vehicles in one place so that disabled people could test drive them and make comparisons. The Transport Research Laboratory at Crowthorne in Berkshire with its impressive test track offered the perfect location. That first year the motor manufacturers were decidedly unenthused about the show and came along with little expectation that it would be worth their while. The adaptation companies and others in the mobility equipment field came with an altogether more upbeat approach. Some were very small companies keen to test a good idea for a product – perhaps developed for a disabled family member or friend – on a wider audience. At least one such company left the show with an order book full for the next six months!

The Mobility Roadshow was held at TRL in Wokingham until 1999

The Mobility Roadshow was held at TRL in Wokingham until 1999

First developments in wheelchair storage for drivers

First developments in wheelchair storage for drivers

For many of the people who came to that inaugural show, it was the first chance to get a proper ‘hands-on’ look at what was available and to talk to those in the business about their own needs. Even the most sceptical manufacturers admitted that it had been an interesting experience and that maybe it was worth repeating. From then on the Roadshow became a fixture on the Crowthorne site every other year, quickly growing in size, complexity and reputation. Over the years the show had a number of royal visitors, and in 1995 HM The Queen spent several hours touring the show and meeting exhibitors and visitors.

HRH The Queen visiting The Mobility Roadshow in 1995

HRH The Queen visiting The Mobility Roadshow in 1995

Realising that the show’s organisation was no small task, registered charity Mobility Choice was established in 1998, with grant aid from the Department for Transport, to take over the running of the event and quickly sought to establish the show as an annual rather than biennial event. Consequently the Roadshow has been held every year since 1999, outgrowing the Crowthorne site and moving to Donington Park for several years. Responding to the request to bring it back south the show moved to Kemble Airfield in Gloucestershire in 2006 and 2007. The Mobility Roadshow Scotland was added to the portfolio in 2004 and has subsequently run at the Royal Highland Centre every other year. In June 2008 the show made its debut at Stoneleigh Park near Coventry. By alternating the venues, the Roadshow has become available to a wider range of people across the country and has also brought a new, regional mix of exhibitors to the event alongside major national and international brands. The Mobility Roadshow has been successfully held at the East of England Showground, Peterborough (now known as the Peterborough Arena) for the last three years and is now scheduled to arrive in Telford during June 2013.

Steve Tarrant set a new 24hr world record on a TGA mobility scooter at the 2012 Mobility Roadshow

Steve Tarrant set a new 24hr world record on a TGA mobility scooter at the 2012 Mobility Roadshow

In recent years, celebrity visitors including Rolf Harris, Noel Edmonds, Tanni Grey Thompson, Ade Adepitan, Sir Stirling Moss and TV presenter Vicki Butler Henderson have been warmly welcomed to the event, and have been amazed at the incredible range of goods and services on offer.

Sir Stirling Moss at The Mobility Roadshow in 2010, Peterborough

Sir Stirling Moss at The Mobility Roadshow in 2010, Peterborough

The Roadshow continues to grow and develop year on year, adding lifestyle products, sports, accessible travel, advice and information services to its core goal of promoting independent mobility for all. Opportunity and choice remain at the heart of the Mobility Roadshow, and its fundamental ethos is to bring together a showcase of everything that’s new in the mobility market, with the chance for firsthand experience. Throughout the years, the show has seen companies come and go, or develop and expand – from that first line-up of exhibitors in 1983, we are delighted to see many companies and organisations that have been at every show and still exhibiting with us in 2013.

The latest Salamander adapted car from 1980

The latest Salamander adapted car from 1980

Thirty years on, Ann Frye who thought up and organised the first Mobility Roadshow and was responsible for the event throughout its early years has taken on the role of Chair of the Board of Trustees of Mobility Choice. Commenting on her new appointment, Ann who is one of the country’s leading authorities on mobility and inclusion, said: “It has been great to watch the Roadshow develop from very simple beginnings to an international showcase of vehicles and mobility products that attracts exhibitors and visitors from across the world. Most importantly, the range and quality of vehicles and equipment available to disabled people has grown too and there are many more disabled people now able to take control of their own lives thanks to the mobility solutions available. It’s been an amazing 30-year journey and one that still has many more miles to travel.”

The leading motor manufacturers now showcase the very latest accessible vehicles at The Mobility Roadshow

The leading motor manufacturers now showcase the very latest accessible vehicles at The Mobility Roadshow

www.mobilityroadshow.co.uk

The 30th anniversary Mobility Roadshow takes place on 27-29 June 2013 at Telford International Centre