20-YEAR-SERVICE ADAM BECK PROMOTED TO PLS MANAGING DIRECTOR

PLS (Passenger Lift Services), a Mobility Networks company, has appointed Adam Beck as its new Managing Director following 20 years of committed service to the business.

Following 20 years of service, Adam Beck (right of picture) has been promoted from Technical Director to Managing Director at PLS. Pictured here outside the new PLS headquarters in Smethwick, West Midlands, with Mobility Networks CEO Mike Simmonds (left of picture).

Following 20 years of service, Adam Beck (right of picture) has been promoted from Technical Director to Managing Director at PLS. Pictured here outside the new PLS headquarters in Smethwick, West Midlands, with Mobility Networks CEO Mike Simmonds (left of picture).

PLS is the UK-leading name in the design, manufacture and maintenance of powered lifts and ramps for accessible buses, coaches, ambulances and specialist vehicles. This highly respected business has recently relocated to substantially larger premises in Smethwick, West Midlands, and is now under the leadership of Adam Beck. Adam, 41 originally from Leicestershire, joined the business full time in 1994 following successful completion of an Engineering and Production Degree and a thesis on wheelchair tie-downs. He had previously worked for PLS as an intern between university term times, through his friendship with fellow Kart racing enthusiast Alan Ford – the founder of PLS and leading industry name.

Adam began his career as Development Manager working in the R&D department and was instrumental in supporting the introduction of PLS’s first and highly successful, coach cassette lift. This pioneering solution was a radical new concept in passenger lifts and established the benchmark for all competitors to follow. Under the brand Access, it became the basis for all PLS lift products that evolved to meet wider requirements for accessible vehicle body builders, convertors and operators.

In 2001 Adam was promoted to Production Manager to oversee all manufacturing processes within the business as PLS began to supply greater volumes to the coach industry. Prior to this PLS had specialised in the mini bus market however leading operators such as National Express were then keen to begin installing Access lifts. Following Adam’s involvement in a management buyout during 2004 as Alan Ford retired, he became Technical Director, which involved further responsibility and onus to drive R&D. This period in his career focused on PLS’s development and launch to market of the world’s first, fully automatic, front entrance coach lift. Before this innovation, wheelchair passengers were only able to access a coach from a mid-position, locker lift that could not be operated from the driver’s seat. This new lift eliminated the need for the driver to leave his seat and manually load passengers. With full automation from the dashboard, wheelchair passengers could be loaded faster and easier – a major advantage to coach operators. Manufacturers such as Plaxton and Salvador Caetano began to build coaches that would accommodate this specialist lift and leading operators such as Stagecoach requested multiple orders.

In 2014, PLS continues to be the UK’s leading specialist in vehicle access lifts. Now as Managing Director, Adam has the experience and acumen to lead the business so that it will continually meet the ever-evolving accessibility requirements of the coach and bus sector. Adam commented: “I am delighted with my promotion to Managing Director and look forward to the higher level of responsibility it will bring. From a strategic point of view, my vision for PLS is to enhance its highly established reputation even further through innovation that continually listens to, and focuses on, the needs of all new and existing customers. We will continue to deliver a nimble, flexible approach that can respond quickly to market and legislative changes so challenges associated with weight savings, sustainability and safety are always met. PLS is proud of its Midlands-based manufacturing heritage and we all have a passion for excellence in engineering. My individual passion began as a boy when building Karts to compete at a national level. If your kart was not designed, built and prepared with 100% commitment and impeccable attention to detail, winning was impossible. This background has instilled my constant desire to improve lift designs so they deliver better and better results for customers. Bringing this ethos into the lift world, I believe sets PLS apart because we are always raising the bar.”

www.passengerliftservices.co.uk

www.mobilitynetworksgroup.com

The Mobility Networks Group
Established in 2014 with worldwide headquarters in Kent, UK, Mobility Networks is the leading multi-national specialist in accessible vehicle solutions. It provides a single source for all the latest innovations in vehicle access solutions from across the world. With a portfolio that is continually expanding, its products currently include vehicle access lifts, ramps, hatches, door opening systems and wheelchair accessible vehicle, lowered floor conversion kits.

Mobility Networks combines global expertise with local knowledge to deliver a world-class service. Its multi-lingual team is fully committed to resolving the needs of vehicle specifiers, bus and coach convertors and transport operators. This ensures all aspects of worldwide accessibility, safety and legislative conformity are met now and in the future. Mobility Networks’ pioneering products are synonymous with quality and reliability and are further enhanced by a holistic support programme that provides proven design consultancy, installation and servicing.

Passenger Lift Services Limited, a Mobility Networks Company
PLS is based in Smethwick, West Midlands and is a leading name in the design, manufacture and support of powered, wheelchair lifts and ramps for buses, coaches and specialist vehicles. Regarded as the UK market leader in underfloor passenger lifts, PLS has delivered an unrivalled range of products and services since inception in 1990.

MOBILITY ROADSHOW SET TO RETURN IN 2015

Mobility Choice is delighted to announce that the next Mobility Roadshow will be held in 2015. The show will take place from 25–27 June 2015 at Donington Park, making a welcome return to this popular venue.

Mobility Choice is delighted to announce that the next Mobility Roadshow will be held in 2015. The show will take place from 25–27 June 2015 at Donington Park, making a welcome return to this popular venue.

Mobility Choice is delighted to announce that the next Mobility Roadshow will be held in 2015. The show will take place from 25–27 June 2015 at Donington Park, making a welcome return to this popular venue.

Ann Frye, Chair of Mobility Choice, the Charity responsible for the show, commented: “Having taken time out to re-evaluate the event and consult widely with past visitors to the show, exhibitors and other parties, we have been given a clear and overwhelming message that there is a need for the Roadshow to continue. The event will return to its core focus on accessible motoring, whether for drivers or passengers. It will provide the all-important test drive facility on the circuit at Donington Park in adapted standard production cars and wheelchair-accessible models.”

Mobility Choice will be working closely with Donington-based NFE Group Ltd, who has been responsible for delivering the test drive management facility at the Roadshow for many years, to bring the Roadshow back to Donington Park. As always, the show will be attractive to end-user visitors – drivers with disabilities, or passengers in need of accessible vehicle solutions.

Greg Ford, Director of the NFE Group, commented “We are delighted to be working closely with Mobility Choice to bring the Mobility Roadshow back into the 2015 calendar and back to Donington Park. In addition to all the other exciting plans we have following the visitor survey, it will be great for visitors and exhibitors alike to test drive on the historic race circuit once again.”

The show will also incorporate the Get Going Live event for young and novice disabled drivers. In parallel there will be a new focus on opportunities for older drivers to try out products and services that can make driving comfortable and stress-free. As usual, there will also be a range of exhibitors presenting the latest wheelchairs, scooters, and other innovative aids to independent mobility, providing a showcase of the very best in personal mobility solutions.

“It was definitely the right decision to take a break this year, to talk to visitors and exhibitors and to get feedback on the right direction for the show”, said Ann. “We are very excited at the prospect of returning next year, and to maintain the show’s excellent reputation built up over more than 30 years as the premier consumer- focussed mobility event.”

Full details will be published over the coming months on the website at www.mobilityroadshow.co.uk where visitors and exhibitors can register advance interest.

For further information, please contact the NFE Group on: +44(0)1332 810007.

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The Mobility Roadshow
The Mobility Roadshow is the UK’s premier consumer-focused mobility and lifestyle event, showcasing products and services to help maintain independent mobility. The show, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2013, is organised by registered charity Mobility Choice.

For 2015 the Mobility Roadshow returns to Donington Park where visitors will have the opportunity to test drive adapted and specialist vehicle conversions on the historic Donington Circuit, as well as try out the very latest innovations in the mobility market.

Mobility Choice
As a registered charity, Mobility Choice delivers the latest mobility advice, news and support to assist disabled individuals with enhanced independence. It was established in 1998 with the primary role of organising The Mobility Roadshow, originally set up by The Department of Transport. It has continued to pioneer inclusion for all through a series of additional programmes and events including the test driving day for provisional disabled drivers, Get Going Live!

DISABLED SHEFFIELD CYCLIST EXPERIENCES TOUR DE FRANCE ON LIFE-CHANGING TGA MOBILITY SCOOTER

Marie Geraldine Webster, 57 from near Worrall (outer Sheffield) who lives with disability following a serious cycling accident, has been able to relive her passion for riding at the Tour de France, thanks to a rugged TGA mobility scooter.

Disabled Marie Geraldine Webster, from near Worrall (outer Sheffield), has been able to relive her passion for riding at the Tour de France thanks to a rugged TGA mobility scooter.

Disabled Marie Geraldine Webster, from near Worrall (outer Sheffield), has been able to relive her passion for riding at the Tour de France thanks to a rugged TGA mobility scooter.

Marie was an extremely active mountain biker and horse rider until 1992 when she experienced a severe accident whilst riding in the Rivelin Valley. The failure of her brakes at speed on a steep incline and subsequent impact into a dry stone wall, resulted in multiple injuries including fractures to her skull and spine, severe crushed vertebrae and breakages to her face. Marie spent five months recovering in hospital after this accident and then returned home for further, extensive convalescence. Since the mid nineties, she has been able to rebuild her life despite living with limited walking capabilities and painful Fibromyalgia. She re-trained from a retail background to be a Civil Servant so that she could work whilst sitting down, as standing was impossible. Nevertheless freedom outdoors in her rural locality, especially to walk her two beloved dogs was still a major issue – that was until she discovered the remarkable TGA Breeze mobility scooter with off road capabilities.

Marie now owns the same model of mobility scooter that won the BBC Top Gear extreme mobility scooter challenge back in 2012. During this BBC broadcast, a TGA Breeze was successfully driven to the top of a rugged hillside in the Brecon Beacons – now this power and performance is giving Marie her life back. The TGA Breeze is renowned for world-class stability and safety when driving in the countryside and is a popular choice across the UK. Built for TGA by highly skilled engineers, this remarkable scooter has also just achieved a new World Record for travelling the further distance ever in 24 hours – 192 miles, set by Steve Tarrant at Goodwood Motorsport Circuit in May. This proven reliability now gives Marie the independence to access her local area that is hilly and impractical to negotiate in a wheelchair. Being outdoors once more has brought happiness back to Marie’s life, especially as she was able to recently watch the Tour de France as the competitors rode passed her nearby home.

Marie explains: “My love of cycling and the outdoors will never falter. Despite having to adapt my lifestyle significantly after my accident, my Breeze has made all the difference, especially as I can still enjoy on and off-road adventures. Having the ability to go and watch the Tour de France recently was so exciting, it was a really enjoyable event with beer tents, loads of freebies and seeing the riders was superb. I may not be tackling the very extreme terrain I used to, or travelling quite as fast, but my 8mph Breeze can still put a smile on my face. It is so powerful when climbing slopes, it really flies up. I spent a long time looking at all the scooters on the market – the Breeze was the most solid and seemed the best for driving over fields and along countryside tracks. Both my Yorkshire Terrier Ben, and Lhasa Apso called Tashi, now love going for walks along the local Loxley pathway. Plus, if 17-year-old Ben gets tired, he jumps on the footplate for a ride! The positivity my Breeze has generated has even encouraged me to take up new hobbies such as decorative stained and fused glass – so you see being mobile again can make a big difference.”

www.tgamobility.co.uk

F1 FANATIC ‘PIMPS UP’ TGA BREEZE FERRARI MOBILITY SCOOTER

Dean Johnson, 50 from Northiam East Sussex, is a disabled life-long Formula One fan that has professionally ‘pimped up’ his TGA mobility scooter with official Ferrari Testarossa paintwork and wheels.

Dean Johnson from East Sussex, is a disabled life-long Formula One fan who has professionally ‘pimped up’ his TGA mobility scooter with official Ferrari Testarossa red paintwork and wheels

Dean Johnson from East Sussex, is a disabled life-long Formula One fan who has professionally ‘pimped up’ his TGA mobility scooter with official Ferrari Testarossa red paintwork and wheels

Dean is a positive, lively individual who lives with considerable mobility difficulties resulting from heart disease and type-1 diabetes. Before experiencing a heart attack in 2008, Dean was a highly successful Contracts Manager who was responsible for over 90 staff operating a network of serviced offices across London. He would begin his commute from home each day at 4:30am and was a driven professional that was head hunted for his final job. Due to illness, Dean had to take early retirement from his career and as his condition developed, his ability to walk became severely restricted. Independence outdoors was becoming impossible until he was fortunate enough to inherit his late Father-in-Law’s, top-of-the-range mobility scooter – a TGA Breeze. Built by TGA, who have a motorsport and engineering heritage, this robust 8mph mobility scooter appealed to Dean’s F1 interests and resulted in its conversion to a Ferrari red finish.

Dean explained: “When sadly my Father-in-Law Percy Judd passed away, the family kindly said to me I could start using his Breeze scooter. They’d seen me struggling to get around and getting so frustrated whereas driving around on the scooter would give me my independence back. Percy had always only selected the best in products and his top spec TGA scooter was no exception – it was fitted with long range batteries and had great power and performance. Now I’m in the driving seat, I can really appreciate the build quality and smooth ride. As time has gone on though, I wanted to make it unique somehow. As I am a huge fan of Formula One, I decided to spray it Ferrari red so it would appeal to my motorsport interests. I managed to find a company who could supply official Ferrari Testarossa paint and undercoat lacquer that would adhere to the body shell. I began work by meticulously dismantling the complete scooter so I could complete a professional paint job on its entire chassis, including the addition of eye catching black gloss to the alloys. I had completed a motor mechanics course many years ago so was able to tackle this complex job relatively easily, the paintwork was more challenging though.”

Dean continued: “Following many hours of detailed masking and re-spraying, I am chuffed to bits with the end result. Everywhere I go, whether it’s to the newsagents or when driving through the local Northiam Recreational Park, passers by comment on my scooter. ‘Great paint work!’…. ‘Wow, where did you get this from, I want one!’ are common statements – people have never seen such a striking scooter before. My Ferrari Breeze has made such a massive difference to my life, I’d be lost without it as walking is pretty much impossible for me now. I even have extra bits of kit if I ever need to visit the pits, from spare wheels to puncture sealant, so my freedom is assured.”

www.tgamobility.co.uk

NEW INTERACTIVE ABACUS HEALTHCARE WEBSITE IS LAUNCHED

Abacus Healthcare, a leading provider of accessible bathroom solutions, has launched a new, user-friendly website which provides expert guidance and easier access to all product information, the latest news plus a range of essential downloads.

The new Abacus Healthcare website is exceptionally user friendly and includes a new interactive product selector to assist care providers and healthcare professionals.

The new Abacus Healthcare website is exceptionally user friendly and includes a new interactive product selector to assist care providers and healthcare professionals.

Abacus Healthcare has worked closely with therapists and families for over 25 years to create stylish and ergonomic accessible bathrooms in domestic, residential care and special educational settings. Its popular range of Aquanova baths, patient hoists and specialist toilets ensure the well-being, dignity and comfort of children and adults with disabilities is always fully maximised. The quality of Abacus Healthcare products and its caring, professional approach to client support are now clearly reflected in this new website.

The launch of the new website also coincides with the recent introduction of the latest generation Gemini, Pisces and Aries baths from Abacus – now illustrated online with key features, technical specifications and all available options. These baths now provide even greater levels of care and durability, with smoother operation and whisper-quiet movement.

The new website home page includes a link to a new easy-to-use bath selector tool. This interactive tool allows visitors to choose the correct bath for individual needs in a simple, step-by-step manner. Once an appropriate bath is selected, viewers can then contact Abacus Healthcare for a free, no-obligation working demonstration at their home or work-place.

Within the product pages on the website, Abacus has included a suite of product videos plus an extensive range of useful, downloadable documents available free of charge for care providers and specifiers. Abacus prides itself by providing a complete support package for families requiring an accessible bathroom – from initial assessment, through to precision installation, user training and life-time after-sales care.

For further details, please visit the new website at www.abacushealthcare.co.uk