Charity’s awards ceremony praises hard work of its volunteers who help disabled people remain independent
On 27th June, national charity Remap held an awards ceremony in London to commemorate the work and achievements of its volunteers who help disabled people across the UK.
A range of manufacturers, inventors and engineers entered the awards, with seven applicants emerging as winners.
Remap is a national charity comprising of groups of volunteers who design tailor-made equipment free-of-charge for disabled people. According to Remap, its team helps around ten disabled people every day, allowing them to stay independent, regain lost skills and discover new ones.
The awards were presented by Paralympian engineer Dave Henson MBE, who commented: “I am blown away by the ingenuity of Remap’s engineers. They are coming up with some really unique, creative solutions which have a massive impact on people’s lives.”
He also spoke from personal experience about how technology and the right equipment can transform people’s lives.
VR headset and zoom camera
The first winner was a VR headset and zoom camera designed by volunteer Rupert Powell which enabled a man with limited sight to see things that are far away. The modified VR headset works by incorporating an LCD video display, image processing computer and camera, along with a powerful zoom lens to bring far away action up close.
Mount Snowdon adapted wheelchair
Another winner was Fred Harrison who adapted a wheelchair so it could be taken up Mount Snowdon and cope with its uneven terrain. The wheelchair had to be used for roughly 8 miles as part of the Snowdon Push challenge.
On altering the wheelchair, Fred commented: “I stripped down an old BMX bike and fixed its front end using U bolts and pipe clamps. A lifting and pushing frame was connected to the rear of the wheelchair directly into its anti-tip sockets.”
Bathroom standing platform
Ralph Anderson also won an award for his innovative platform which allowed a young girl with dwarfism called Margaux to reach her bathroom taps. The tailor-made design incorporates an upper step which is large enough to provide a safe standing platform, high side panels which reduce the risk of falling, and non-slip surfaces.
3D-printed device for rollator
Additionally, Martin Rees won an award for his creation of a 3D-printed device allowing an amputee to use a rollator. The amputee could not safely use the rollator with one hand and it therefore required modification to allow him to use it.
First the brakes were altered by Martin so that they could be controlled with one hand, then he created a comfortable and adjustable cup-type holder for the man’s residual limb.
Helping handle for car
The next award was a design that allowed a paraplegic man, Bob Crump, to get in and out of his car. Bob needed a solution to help him transfer into his car due to his declining upper body strength.
Remap volunteer David Tappin made a simple lightweight frame which clips onto the vehicle’s door hinges to provide a stable handle, enabling Bob to use both hands and arms to lift himself from his wheelchair into the driving seat.
Church door adopts handrail
In addition, a handrail which fits to the door of an ancient listed building also won an award for its unique design. The request came from Parochial Church Council of St. Peter’s Church in Warwickshire where people were struggling to get down the two steep steps leading into the church.
Remap came up with the idea of a collapsible triangle, where each corner is hinged and has a hard nylon pad where it attaches to the door. The charity also incorporated a handrail into one arm of the frame which had to be accurately adjusted to provide a tight fit to the ancient door.
Narrowboat adapted chair
The final award went to Mike Banks who transformed an ordinary chair by fitting it with wheels for use on a narrowboat. The request came from a lady with Motor Neurone Disease who wanted to be able to navigate the tight spaces on her boat.