Since the NHS no longer provides any wheelchair training and being entirely new to using such a thing, I booked a session with Stuart Wheeler. He gave me a lot more confidence in using it and I have since managed a trip to the shops with it, under my own steam, as well as a trip to a local park.
Most people you see in a wheelchair are being pushed by someone else, but I am keen to be able to propel myself. Stuart showed me how to get the wheelchair over obstacles, such as a hose pipe, thresholds and kerbs. I made more progress in the session than I would have thought possible, particularly in being able to get the front castors off the ground, which is essential for getting over obstacles
Stuart gave me a useful pack of information at the end, including reminder sheets and useful contacts.
Stuart’s ability to get around in an ordinary saloon, with hand controls, stowing his wheelchair on and around the passenger seat in bits, was impressive. His chair was lighter and stronger than mine, rigid rather than folding.