Remap – a charity for the disabled


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.

My friends and I enjoy the comfort of the chair.

My Crow Tells Me

My crow tells me
All she knows-
How far her landmarks are
As the crow flies.
To the pasture?
To the spinney where
Your cousins build their rookery?
‘Caw! Caw!’
To Hanslope Church spire?
‘Caw! Caw! Caw!’
Three what?
If I but knew
The units she chooses.

My collared dove asks me:
‘Who’s who? Who’s who?’

My wood pigeon tells us:
‘Hugh’s who, he is, Hugh’s who.’
I don’t know Hugh, or where his house,
But Hugh, it seems, is who.

My Jackdaw tells me
Repeatedly, excitedly,
His name.
‘Jack! Jack! Jack, Jack!’
I know, sweetheart,
Your name is Jack.
But riddle me this-
What was my Grandad’s name?
Correct! How did you guess?
Now, what was my Uncle’s name?
Correct again! Astounding! (or lucky, maybe?)
Try this then-
What was my Grandma’s name?
‘Jack! Jack! Jack, Jack!’
Aha! Wrong!
It was Winifred Evelyn.
Never mind. As long as we know your name,
Which is…?
‘Jack! Jack! Jack, Jack!’

My goldfinches tell me
News from the parish;
Gossip, tittle-tattle.
They prattle as they pass through
(Pausing only to deplete the feeders).
I cannot understand a word,
They gabble so fast
It might as well be Mandarin to me.

My Blackbird-
Ah, my sweet blackbird-
Plays me soothing tunes
Upon his flute.
And I listen from my bed
Through the open window
On a still, warm evening in May,
And I sleep.

Castlethorpe, 9th May 2019