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.

Facebook… resistance is (apparently) futile.

Facebook, eh? What’s that all about? I decided to find out…

I have resisted the idea of signing up for Facebook for years. “What? You’re not on Facebook?” folks would say. “How come? You some kind of weirdo?” Continue reading

“Disabled? Try painting, my new remedy for multiple sclerosis” says Don.

My favourite Margate resident Don Wood adds his name to the list of great artists who have been inspired by the town. (Well, I can think of Turner and Emin, anyway.)
If you need an insight into how MS both restricts and inspires us, Don’s blogs are the place to look. He is always able to put a cheerful slant on anything that would floor the rest of us. Cheers Don!

RollerMouse Red

Last year I began to find increasing difficulty in using a conventional mouse with my PC. My hands have stiffened up and I have lost a lot of fine motor control and sensation in my fingers.

I can demonstarte this y leavinf gthis line of type uncorredcted 🙂

I could move the cursor to where I needed it, though if the target area was small this was not so easy. But the real trouble began when I tried to click. Continue reading

Sonnets on being disabled

Six Sonnets on Being Disabled
Written in a burst in one day, over a year before I finally  received my diagnosis of Primary Progressive MS. I was already in a wheelchair and pretty confused about what might be the matter with me.
Continue reading