20th November 2022
Meeting report by Jane Bennett
Our Milford Sunday November meetings, always come with concerns, that weather conditions or ill health may limit people traveling. We were so lucky in that the weather was fine, but, sadly, a number missed both socialising with others and a very comprehensive and entertaining presentation from Paul Graham, from the Queen Elizabeth Foundation for Disabled People (QEF) Mobility Services, due to ill health.
With this being the first Sunday Milford meeting since lockdown, there was a lot of catching up to do. Not everyone can join us on a Saturday in April, so they come on a Sunday in November. There was another change, in that as it gets dark earlier in November, we started an hour earlier, hoping everyone’s homeward journey was easier.
As our regulars know, our afternoons are split into three sections. With this being the ongoing format, there is the choice to stay for the whole afternoon, or as long as people are able.
Paul, as Senior Occupational Therapist responsible for Motability Services, focused his presentation on all that was needed, and required legally, to drive when limbs, not only legs, made driving a standard manual or automatic car, or other vehicle, not possible. This is confirmed by the QEF pamphlet title being, ‘Helping people with reduced mobility and disabilities stay independently mobile’. The QEF, based in Carshalton, organises driving assessments for drivers of cars, taxis, lorries, buses, coaches and motorbikes. The assessment cost, November 2022, starts at £225 for cars, changing according to the size, or type, of the vehicle. If you have been referred by the DVLA or Motability, they will pay. With Paul’s presentation lasting over an hour, I cannot, sadly, give you all the details. Other areas QEF can help with includes, transfer and seating assessments, scooter and wheelchair assessment, children’s assessments for car seats, Travelchair and powered wheelchairs, plus guidance on what is needed when you fly.
One of our members had previously been assessed at Carshalton and was grateful for their help in enabling him to continue to drive.
QEF also promote Hubs Mobility Service. This organisation focuses on accessible travel advice, if you’re going car free. There are fifteen centres nationwide. Paul left some flyers, but if you want to check it out, their website is, drivingmobility.org.uk/alternatives-to-driving/hubs-centres/, with their phone number being 0800 599 3636
Paul left some envelopes with all the information. If you would like to see the information in paper form, please email me, (firstname.lastname@example.org) including your address, or look at their website, www.qef.org.uk.
We’re looking forward to meeting again on Saturday April 22nd, from 3pm, at The Clockhouse, Milford Surrey GU8 5EZ. Those joining us last April agreed that we would have an open discussion about mobility aids we use to enjoy life. One member commented that he would need to bring a van with all his equipment!
Best wishes for 2023.