An elderly Leicestershire woman is taking delivery of her first car to coincide with her 93rd birthday. Clare Spink from Cosby in Leicestershire is the proud owner of a new wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV), which was delivered in time for the big day, Friday May 9.
Mrs Spink has had disabilities since being knocked off her moped by a lorry back in 1980. She had multiple fractures of her right arm and leg and has walked with difficulty ever since. Her family decided to help her to apply for a Motability vehicle after she became unable to get into ordinary cars.
Mrs Spink said: “This splendid vehicle has given me a completely new lease of life – and I’ve already criss-crossed the county, visiting places like Bradgate Park, Stoney Cove, the garden centre and the supermarket. I’ve also been able to pay a visit to my best friend, Pat Johnson, who lives right the other side of Leicester. As I’ve been unable to get into other people’s cars for some time, I’ve been feeling isolated – now I have my freedom back.”
Mrs Spink is the mother of four children and eight grandchildren, all of whom live a fair distance from her. She is planning to visit them as well as making other excursions, for example, to the Dorset coast where she lived in the 1950s.
She lives independently in her own house, supported by a team of care staff who will drive the vehicle for her. Her care is managed and co-ordinated by her son, Geoff Adams-Spink, a former BBC journalist who is disabled himself. He commented: “Far too many older and disabled people are isolated from their communities and lack the opportunity of independent travel. My Mum will be able to maintain her connections with friends and family as well as enjoying trips to places that she knows and loves.”
The Motability scheme was set up at the initiative of the Government, with all party support, in 1977, to provide independent transport for people with disabilities. The scheme provides cars, WAVs, mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs to more than 630,000 users. At 93, Mrs Spink must be one of the oldest customers to lease their first vehicle.
Declan O’Mahony, Director of Motability, commented: “Motability has helped improve the lives of more than three and a half million people since its inception. The scheme provides a lifeline to customers like Mrs Spink, and
we are delighted to see that the new vehicle will help her to continue to do the things that so many take for granted, such as visiting friends and family.”
Mrs Spink’s car is a Peugeot Expert Independence SE, adapted by Glasgow-based specialists, Allied Mobility. Allied Mobility sales director, Peter Facenna, commented: “This is amazing! I knew we had a wide ranging customer base here at Allied Mobility, but we don’t often reach people in their nineties. It’s great to hear that wheelchair accessible vehicles are still making such a difference to people, even at this age. We hope Mrs Spink enjoys her Independence.”
For information about Allied Mobility head to www.alliedvehicles.co.uk or call 0800 587 9674
More information about the Motability Scheme can be obtained by telephoning 0800 093 1000 or by visiting www.motability.co.uk