Remap AGM 2014 (1)The past 50 years have seen the lives of over 100,000 people with disabilities – from athletes, to ex-service people, to children, parents and those who have retired – transformed by volunteers of national charity Remap, who have built equipment to help these individuals lead independent lives.
The charity, which celebrates its 50th birthday this month and now works in 80 branches across the UK, counts engineers, craftspeople, technicians and healthcare professionals among its army of over 1,000 volunteers who have devoted their time and expertise to turning around lives of individuals affected by disability. The volunteers carry out a full consultation with each client to understand their specific needs; using this information they design and build bespoke equipment that enables the individual to overcome challenges in undertaking everyday tasks and activities, providing a solution to a problem that cannot be answered by commercially available equipment.
Sue Lunn from Basingstoke has multiple sclerosis and uses an electronically powered wheelchair. She can drive an adapted car, but once she has transferred from the wheelchair to the car the wheelchair is marooned. Remap solved the problem using a remote control model aircraft system and adapted it so Sue could operate the controls on the wheelchair from the driving seat of the car. Sue said: “I always hoped there could be such a device. But Remap has made it a reality. I’m now free and independent and totally amazed.”
Barry has been a volunteer with Remap for three years. He said: “This is the best thing I have ever done, I get more satisfaction and sheer life affirming joy and pleasure out of it than anything else. I had no idea  before this how much helping others adds to the sum of one’s own happiness.”
Remap made Derek Derenalagi a throwing stand which he used in the Paralympics 2012

Remap made Derek Derenalagi a throwing stand which he used in the Paralympics 2012

Adam Rowe, Chief Executive Officer of Remap commented: “Remap has been transforming lives for 50 years based upon the selfless support from our volunteers over the years. Every piece of equipment enables people to try and undertake everyday tasks or help them achieve their ambitions.  I look forward to the next generation of volunteers signing up to volunteer with us to continue changing people’s lives.”

REMAP was formed in 1964 by Pat Johnson, a former Royal Engineer working for ICI at their Billingham plant. Pat had a sister who had had infantile polio, which presented her with physical problems in coping with her day-to-day life. He built a wooden ramp up to his sister’s front door and also installed an electric hoist, with a runway, above the ceiling in the hallway, bathroom and toilet of the bungalow.  His sister was overjoyed with the ramp and hoist, as they immediately gave her a level of independence she had never enjoyed before. Pat was so impressed with the immense change his relatively simple improvements had made to his sister’s quality of life it led him to the concept of Remap and soon other engineers at ICI became involved with his idea and helped it to develop.  Remap has steadily grown over the past 50 years to cover 80 branches.
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