With the help of funding from my local Lions Club I hired an off road wheelchair at Glastonbury Festival in 2011, I work there as a steward for a free ticket and I knew if I didn’t hire one and it ended up being muddy I may as well not go at all!
There are several different types of off road wheelchair on the market now and this one seemed ideal for my needs. Many are unsuitable due to inadequate seating support or the need to use handle bars and levers, etc which my SMA won't allow.
It's called a Fieldmaster Trek Sport. It's absolutely brilliant, well engineered, very simple and it’s developed and made in the UK. I've been looking at ways to raise money so that I could have my own.
I live in a very rural area of Somerset. I love the natural world and the wonder, peace and sense of connectedness and grounding it provides me. Safe and easy access to the wilds of the countryside, I feel, is essential to mine and anyone’s well-being.
Since childhood I've dealt with the intense frustration of not being able to charge into the woods and explore, meander around fields and meadows, access beaches and national parks. There are so many magical places away from the paths and beyond boundaries.
I've always managed as best I can with the indoor/ outdoor wheelchair provided to me by the NHS but it's limiting to say the least. It's ok for the odd smooth gravel path or a dry, short grass but the slightest bit of mud and it's a dead weight as for steep slopes or near steep drops its positively dangerous. Needless to say I've gone places with it I probably shouldn't of but it does not fare well at all and is extremely uncomfortable and unnerving most of the time.
The Fieldmaster can tackle virtually any terrain, competently and safely. It has 4x4 drive and more power in one of its four motors as there is in both of mine put together. It is strong and lightweight and has a brilliant battery life giving me a long range. It would give me tremendous independence and freedom to explore places with friends and family as well as on my own when I need some space and solitude.
As some of you know I also plan to start a small business providing fresh herbal teas and a chill out space at festivals, I'm collaborating with World Shift Media, a new conscious, collaborative multi-media communications and event platform promoting the World Shift values of Peace, Justice, Sustainability, Social Innovation and Conscious Evolution. It's really exciting to be a part of it.
Famously though, UK festivals can be extremely muddy and until I get my hands on a Fieldmaster this venture is out of bounds to me as well.
I've secured £2000,00 from The ACT Foundation and am applying to a large list of other charities and trusts. A friend has offered to do a sponsored sky dive too. If anyone else has any other fundraising ideas please get in touch.
If most of the people I know were able and willing to give just £2.00 each I'd have a decent amount to put in the pot. Any help is greatly appreciated!