Val Rawlings, secretary for the Disabled Ramblers charity
- June 3, 2014
-- The Disabled Ramblers (http://disabledramblers.co.uk/)
is a national charity that organises over 30 countryside rambles per year, in various locations nationwide and attracts approximately 500 disabled participants per annum. Each ramble is carefully pre-planned and graded according to terrain, so mobility scooter users can chose routes that fall within their own ability. Each ramble attracts around 20 riders with additional supporters and the TGA Supersport (http://www.tgamobility.co.uk/
mobility scooter, with its proven off-road capabilities, is a popular choice at these events. Members pro-actively campaign for improved countryside access by encouraging the removal of inaccessible man-made barriers whilst preserving the character of the natural environment.
Currently the Disabled Ramblers are working in an advisory capacity nationwide with the National Trust and its rangers to ensure more coastal and off-road tracks are accessible to mobility scooters. The latest adapted routes to be opened by the National Trust, with the guidance of the Disabled Ramblers, are located on the English south coast around Swanage and Studland near Poole. Several miles are now suitable for mobility scooters to access so visitors with disabilities can enjoy the stunning scenery with peace of mind.
Disabled Ramblers secretary Valerie Rawlings has been helping the charity's support of the National Trust. Val commented: "We received initial contact from the National Trust last summer regarding advice on accessibility in the countryside. Since then we have been working with their rangers to implement schemes in the Purbeck Hills in particular, and other areas nationwide, that are both sensitive to the countryside and allow scooter users to access many scenic places without hassle. We have achieved removal of many barriers along pathways and instigated improvements to track surfaces so they are smoother and edged appropriately.
Val continues: "The recent developments on the south coast mainly involved the flattening of ruts in paths, strong edging and the addition of aesthetic gravel so grip and stability would be improved for riders. These routes are now ideal for robust mobility scooters such as my TGA Supersport. This three-wheel machine is more indicative of a mini Harley Davidson than a scooter and delivers superb performance and comfort when driving cross-country. If I didn't own a rugged TGA Supersport scooter and these paths had not been improved, I wouldn't have been able to see half of what we now can see. As a Disabled Rambler, this level of freedom is so important because it means we can get out into the countryside and experience wonderful views, fresh air and the wildlife."
Daniel Stone, Managing Director of TGA Mobility who supplies the Supersport concluded: "Once again the TGA team and I would like to congratulate the Disabled Ramblers for their superb work with the National Trust. It is essential that all individuals living with restricted mobility and who use a scooter, are able to access our beautiful countryside - both safely and with peace of mind. The ability to enjoy the outdoors greatly improves quality of life for people living with restricted mobility and if they choose a reliable, trusted machine such as our Supersport, independence without worry is assured. I would actively encourage all mobility scooter owners who are looking to discover picturesque countryside in the safety of a group, to contact the Disabled Ramblers for further information on their scheduled programme of 2014 rambles."