I have recently received some invaluable assistance from the Remap charity, and I’d like to thank them here and, hopefully, help to raise awareness of their existence and purpose. This should be of interest to anyone who is disabled, caring for a disabled person or perhaps knows one.
Remap is an organisation of volunteers with design, engineering and craft skills who will provide, free of charge, individually tailored solutions to disability needs.
Many disability aids are ‘one size fits all’ and Remap may be able to make adaptations to suit a particular need. They will also design and build aids from scratch where no commercial solution exists.
Ruth and I had encountered them on a stall at the big NAIDEX exhibition at the NEC, and when my riser-recliner armchair broke down we contacted them for help. I rely on that chair for my comfort when I’m relaxing in the sitting room. I can change position easily to ease the nerve pain in my legs. I can recline and sleep in it, I can sit up and work or watch TV in it. It has broken down several times before and been fixed by the manufacturers, but they have since gone into liquidation and no more help was available there.
The problem this time wasn’t too serious, but really inconvenient. Both motors still worked but the ‘lazy tongs’ frame which should raise the leg rest as I recline had broken. The leg rest had to be lifted by hand- obviously by someone else’s hand; I couldn’t do it. Faced with having my legs dangling until someone could rescue me, or scrapping the chair and investing a grand or two in a new one, we thought of Remap.
Remap is a national organisation with a local branch in Milton Keynes. I found them online and emailed the local contact. The next day I received a phone call. My contact explained that he had just stood down as local co-ordinator, but was passing my details on to his successor. The next morning again- a Saturday- we received a phone call from Martin Hughes, the new MK Remap Chairman, asking if he could come round and have a look at my chair. “When?” we asked. “This morning any good?” he replied.
Martin took the chair away, machined up a few bushes and pivots, straightened out the damaged frame and got the whole thing working sweetly again. He was even able to do this over a weekend while Ruth and I were away so I barely missed the chair. He collected and delivered it, took it apart, fixed it and reassembled it, and charged us- nothing at all!
Many, many thanks to Martin and to Remap, and please, if you have read this, spread the word. Martin tells us that they are underused, and itching to get their hands on more problems to solve.