Paul Smith, a wheelchair user from Coleshill near Birmingham, received a great 35th birthday present last month when his mother won a specially adapted, wheelchair accessible Renault Kangoo in Gowrings Mobility’s ‘Seize the Day’ competition.
Paul’s mother, Mrs Valerie Goode from Kettering, entered Gowrings Mobility’s 40th anniversary ‘Seize the Day’ fundraising competition purely out of charitable goodwill, but was thrilled to actually win one of the three wheelchair accessible vehicle prizes given away throughout the year.
Mrs Goode commented, "I’ve only ever won a bottle of wine in a raffle so I’m utterly amazed! Paul lives in a residential care home so when we visit him each week, we either have to just go for a walk, or we need to plan ahead and book the home’s minibus. I always used to feel bad, as it would deprive someone else at the home. Paul loves going out - he’s a very sociable person. Having our own car means we can take him out so much more, and we can also be more impulsive. Thanks to the car, his life will become more interesting. It’s the best birthday gift ever!"
Last month, Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson handed over the keys to the special edition Renault Kangoo in Anniversary Gold at the Frost Fair at Warwick Castle, where Gowrings Mobility had also commissioned an ice sculpture of a Renault Kangoo in keeping with the winter theme of the event.
The car was kindly provided by Renault dealer group, Bridges, and converted for wheelchair access by Gowrings Mobility, offering a lowered floor for extra headroom, an integral lightweight ramp, four-point wheelchair restraint system and personal lap and diagonal belts for the wheelchair passenger. All of this will mean that Paul can now travel safely to and from his purpose-built bungalow, run by the Father Hudson’s Society, in the comfort of his own wheelchair.
Speaking of Renault’s involvement, Ben Fletcher, Kangoo Product Manager, Renault UK commented, "Kangoo is perfectly suited to the needs of the converted vehicle market, providing many people with the freedom to travel in comfortable, safe and also stylish car. We would like to offer its congratulations to Paul and his family and we hope they continue to enjoy the mobility that their new Kangoo will provide."
Backed by Paralympic athlete and gold medallist, Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, the ‘Seize the Day’ competition has been instrumental in raising awareness of adapted vehicles for wheelchair users and raising money for several deserving charities: The Disabled Drivers’ Association & Disabled Drivers’ Motor Club; Leonard Cheshire; MS Society and Whizz-Kidz.
Linda Ling, Managing Director of Gowrings Mobility said, "Many thousands of people have entered our ‘Seize the Day’ competition and it has been my delight and privilege to give away Gowrings Mobility cars to three very deserving winners. Over the year of our grass-roots campaign we have been inundated with enquiries for our mobility products. This just shows how much people need information about the products that can help them improve their lifestyle and make the most of every moment."
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