Several disabled drivers, like Robert Franklin of Romford, Essex, are now better off, thanks to a £5000 grant from the Ford of Britain Trust to national motoring charity, Motability.
Robert Franklin's £528 portion of the grant from Motability was put towards adapting his new Fiesta, leased on the charity's Scheme. The Fiesta was already equipped with Ford's Durashift EST semi-automatic transmission. Features like power windows and steering, which are now standard on many of Ford's vehicle range, are indispensable for those with reduced mobility. Allen Ford in Romford, adapted Robert Franklin's Fiesta with the help of Davis Hand Controls, to include a steering wheel knob, push-pull lever with indicator switch and pedal guards before the car was delivered in August.
"Having a car is absolutely essential to me and being on the Motability Scheme has meant that I can go where and when I want to and I do not have to rely on anyone else. The Fiesta is my second car on the Scheme and my first Ford and I am very impressed with the amount of space inside, the standard features and the engine really goes," commented Robert Franklin.
Phil Taylor, director of the Ford of Britain Trust, which was created for the advancement of education and other charitable purposes beneficial to the community, saw how the adaptations enable Robert, who does not have the use of his legs, to control the car's speed and direction with two hands. Phil said "the grant will enable several other people in Essex like Robert to modify their vehicles to suit their disabilities. The Ford of Britain Trust is happy to be able to support Motability's grant programme to get more disabled drivers independently mobile."
Motability trust and appeals fundraiser, Danny Greenwood, was grateful for the grant saying, "Our customers often need that little bit of extra help with financing essential modifications, and Motability, with the help of organisations like the Ford of Britain Trust, can try to assist as much as possible." He added that "Ford Motor Company Limited was one of the founding manufacturers of the Motability Scheme back in 1978 and the Fiesta was one of the first cars to be launched on the scheme. 25 years later, Motability has supplied well over 1.6 million vehicles."
Three and a half years ago Ford launched MAGIC (Mobility and General Information Centre) taking the commitment to assist disabled and mature drivers further.Published 20 November 2003