A representative of a remarkable charity that custom makes equipment and gadgets to help disabled people live more independent lives was the latest guest speaker of Maidenhead Rotary Club.
Caryn Moberly, chair of Remap Berkshire, joined club members by Zoom on Monday to explain the work of the national charity, which was founded 50 years ago and has 70 branches across the UK.
A furniture maker and designer by profession, Caryn is one of Remap’s volunteers who help those with disabilities or a special need by adapting existing aids or designing and making new ones tailored to their needs if there is nothing commercially available.
“We design and make the things you cannot buy,” said Caryn. “They can be for any purpose – personal care, mobility, sports, hobbies, work, education and play. We do lots of things to help people with their mobility.”
Examples include a counterweight system to allow an elderly woman to continue lifting the heavy lids on her Aga cooker, adapting badly fitting access ramps, a foam sink surround to let a little boy with epilepsy wash up safely with his dad, and a brush holder to help a woman continue to paint after a stroke.
The charity’s 900 skilled volunteers range from engineers and people good at DIY to designers and those with knowledge of disabilities. They complete more than 3,500 assignments each year.
Funded by grants and donations, the service is free with no one excluded because of cost.
“Locally we are supported by a grant from Reading Borough Council and it is calculated that every £1 spent produces £10 worth of aid,” said Caryn.
She shared a comment about Remap from a senior occupational therapist at Reading social services who said: “There are numerous occasions where I or the people I work with know exactly what is needed to solve a problem, but we just can’t find it anywhere. As a result I have called upon Remap’s expertise and thus far have never presented them with a problem that can’t be fixed.”
If you would like to find out more about the charity or volunteer please see www.remap.org.uk