We are delighted to announce that our ableMove Founder, Josh Wintersgill, has recently been selected to join the Permobil new Advisory Board across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The advisory board is made up of wheelchair users, who share insights on new or existing products, features and campaigns. Josh will be joining wheelchair users on the board from Belgium, Germany, Denmark, France, Norway, Sweden and UK.
“I remember when I was a child being given a wheelchair that broke me to tears – it looked absolutely horrific, I refused to go to school in it. The importance of how you look and feel in a wheelchair is extremely important to mental health and the confidence it gives you when out and about is paramount,” says Josh.
It is imperative to have wheelchairs designed for wheelchair users by wheelchair users and the users must be included in all stages of bringing a wheelchair to market, which is why this it is so fantastic that Permobil have set up an advisory board of lived experience end users.
“Last year through the Access to Work scheme, I received my first ever Permobil wheelchair”, says Josh, “I trialled one a few years back at a conference, and the moment I sat in it, I felt a totally different person. I felt on top of the world. It felt so comfortable, it looked fantastic, and you could feel the breeze in your face because it’s super quick. It’s like going from a Robin Reliant to a convertible Ferrari in a flick of a switch – unreal! So pleased to have one of my own now.”
Josh uses his Permobil wheelchair in all aspects of his day to day life, from chilling at home (which admittedly he doesn’t get much chance to do as he is heavily involved in the day to day running of ableMove!), to working and travelling, taking part in high performance and world-class sports in air rifle and a whole array of other activities, from the mundane to the extraordinary. This all demonstrates the true versatility of these chairs and the independence and enablement that follows. Watch Josh using his Permobil wheelchair here:
The ableMove range of products are ideally suited to compliment the Permobil wheelchairs. The ableDry is ideal for placing in the wheelchair and then allowing the user to carry on a whole host of activities whilst remaining warm, dry and comfortable. The ableSling (formerly known as easyTravelseat) can be in situ in a Permobil wheelchair all day and used to easily, quickly and safely transfer the wheelchair user when needed. The ableMove products, like the Permobil wheelchairs, have been designed by wheelchair users with lived experience of the challenges faced on a day to day basis. It is this similar ethos that we at ableMove and Permobil both share that will allow Josh to become a valuable contributor to the Permobil advisory board.
There is still some work to be done which will see the wheelchairs become even more versatile and this is where the input from the advisory board is so valuable. Improving the wheelchairs for air travel is of course an issue that is incredibly important to Josh, and we know that his expertise and experience in this field will come in extremely useful in shaping the next generation of Permobil wheelchairs.