Thursday 27th September 2012 gave Gowrings Mobility the chance to celebrate their unique heritage, demonstrate their flexible new factory, educate some local special students, inspire their employees and share their special relationship with Paralympian Silver Medallist Karen Darke with family and business customers.

Arriving in style in a chauffeur driven Gowrings Mobility Doblo SpacePlusTM wheelchair accessible vehicle, Karen Darke was greeted by John Newman of the Newship group that own Gowrings Mobility.

Office and factory staff were delighted to see Karen arrive and stopped work to join in with the official plaque unveiling as John Newman said a few words,

“I am pleased to be here today celebrating the opening of Gowrings Mobility’s new factory – its first permanent home

It represents a £1.5 million investment in a more than seventy thousand square foot site dedicated to British automotive specialist manufacturing.”

Karen pulled the cord and the official part of the day was completed with cheers, smiles and party poppers!

Ian Bosworth, Managing Director of Gowrings Mobility elaborated on the importance of this new status,

“Having a permanent home for Gowrings has meant that we can invest in plant and equipment and a new layout that streamlines the production processes.

Production is now more flexible for the future and new models such as our SpacePlus Doblo and new-design Movano have been quickly introduced into this new environment.

We have included engineering development bays and areas dedicated to the refurbishment of second hand Gowrings WAVs in the new facility.”

Nine pupils from Brookfields School in Tilehurst in Reading, were delighted to be invited to visit the new factory and to meet Karen and have a go at hand cycling – Karen’s Paralympic sport.

The children, all of whom have special educational needs, were delighted to see, touch and even wear Karen’s silver medal and asked her lots of questions about her achievements.

Karen revelled in this connection and said afterwards,

I loved their enthusiasm towards the Paralympics, the medal and the handbike. They seemed a really positive and happy set of individuals and it was fantastic that they were up for having a go on the handbike. I wonder if there are any budding new cyclists there?”

After waving goodbye to the excited students, who had brought along London 2012 Paralympic flags, Karen was whisked off for an informal lunch at the Regency Hotel with some key members of staff and business customers.

Karen commented as she left,

“I really enjoyed meeting some of the Gowrings Mobility customers, and learning about how their vehicles have improved their lives.

I strongly believe that personal mobility is really important so to be working with Gowrings Mobility this year is a great honour.

It was a pleasure to meet the Gowrings team, from management to hands-on roles and to see how customers and good customer service drives this business.

Thank you for a great day!”