My journey, my new WAV!

Blue badge at the ready ‘In the words of William Wallace ‘FREEDOM’

Ever been so excited about something you can’t help but think you might burst – I was like a kid in a sweet shop the day my shiny new WAV (wheelchair accessible vehicle) was delivered. Normally I am a very patient person when it comes to waiting for anything but for some reason my brain just wasn’t willing to play the ‘patient game’.

But let me put the brakes on and start from the beginning of my journey to getting my own wheelchair accessible vehicle.

For years i have talked about one day getting WAV – the only set back. Always came down to being financial, being disabled isn’t cheap but that’s a whole different article! – it always felt like a maybe one day dream.

One evening i was having a girlie catch up, and that same conversation cropped up again talking about getting a WAV’s but this conversation was slightly different to any others I’d had. It sparked my interest even more. My friend was going through the process of getting their own WAV, I found myself asking a hundred and one questions I needed to know everything from beginning to end.

I had heard of the Motability scheme before and many years back I even remember receiving an information pack though the post. However, I wasn’t aware of their grant scheme until my little girlie chat. And of course I looked into it more. Could the grant scheme work for me?

Why do I need a wheelchair accessible vehicle.

I have a rare form of muscular dystrophy a progressive muscle wasting condition, I am unable to walk anymore so I rely on my powered wheelchair to be my legs. I had always thought that I was pretty independent, granted when I really think about it my life wasn’t that independent. If I needed to go shopping or to a hospital appointment it’s waiting for ambulance transport (It’s a great service for those who need it but very over run) or relying on a wheelchair accessible taxi and that can become quite expensive at £10 per journey. So most of the time if I couldn’t wheel there or any of the above I didn’t go anywhere.

The process

I was pleasantly surprised when filling out the mobility scheme grant form. It wasn’t that complicated (as I sure some of you know anything disabled related can be a lengthy filling out form process) I will say make sure you have a tape measure to hand and someone to help because they going to need the measurements of any equipment and your wheelchair. When you have filled all section and sent, you will receive an email confirming your application. if you are unsure give them a call as I found them to be brilliant very helpful, understanding and willing to walk/wheel you though every question you have.

I would also recommend having a nosy around their website and seeing what vehicles they have available it’s always good to have an idea of what you might like and what you think suits your needs.

If you are successful you will receive a call from your caseworker they will go through how much you are entitled and what type/size of vehicle they think you need. You will then be sent either an email or letter (that’s your choice) with what to do next and a selection of vehicles and what company/ies to call to book your trial with.

My trials

The company allocated to me was GM Coachwork Group – this was my first WAV or any experience in getting a vehicle I was completely out of my depth. I called GM Coachwork and spoke with Nick he’s was great really put my mind at ease going though the whole process. I already had an idea of what I wanted to look at and at first it was thought by my caseworker that I’d needed a large (I.e. mini van) but already knowing that was probably going to be far to big I would definitely look lost in the back!

I still needed to try the large so when the report when in to my caseworker at Mobility it could be ruled out. Nick booked two tests the Peugeot boxer (large) and the Ford quantum (medium/large). I only needed to wait a few weeks which was great the excitement was building. You will be given the drivers name and a time of arrival. They will be fully kicked out with PPE as well as name badges.

The Peugeot boxer – is a very big beast. Great if you have more than one wheelchair or a large family unit plus you have space to park it but for me it was just to big, it was very clear it wouldn’t fit under my carport and my neighbours would probably have a meltdown as parking is very scarce for standard size cars on our street without rying to find somewhere to park this beast!

The Ford Custom Quantum – I will let you into a little secret I was in love with this WAV at the moment it turned up. It has just the right amount of room for me and my wheelchair, I wasn’t squished, I could see out the side windows with no problem I could see out the front window with no problem, it was suitable for what I needed it for!

What happens next

After each test drive your drivers will send in a report to the office so for me it was Nick at Gm Coachwork Group on how you got on I.e. was it comfortable, The right fit and if you need extras like seats or D-rings and straps. Pictures of you in the vehicle will also be sent. That report will then be sent to your caseworker at Mobility. It takes around five working days until your caseworker at Mobility calls ( I was of course hoping for less), mobility will ask if you a few questions go though the reports. Once everyone is agreed it’s signed off and you get to pick which van or car you prefer.

I would say the car that was probably the hardest decision. With 6 to pick from we narrowed it down to 3 favourites. But we had a number one!

My phone call was on a Friday so I had to wait till Monday, as you can imagine I was wheelchair twitching all weekend to give GM Coachwork group a call – Monday came i gave Nick a call to order my shiny wheels, GM Coachwork had a stock of the Ford Quantum and I was lucky that they had one left i the colour that was our top choice. Once ordered you will receive regular updates as to when your vehicle will be delivered. Be aware It can take up to 12 weeks.

I had been talking about this moment for years and it was finely here it still feels like a dream, for the first week I did keep checking my ring door camera just to make sure it was real. What’s the saying the small things in life,

Until next time. Tell me what you think?

Kisses K

Come give me a follow and say hi.

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