Naidex Birmingham – 30th April – 2nd May 2013
Mobility Roadshow – 27th – 29th June 2013
Come and visit us on the Sirus stand
Naidex Birmingham – 30th April – 2nd May 2013
Mobility Roadshow – 27th – 29th June 2013
Come and visit us on the Sirus stand
“I’ve had a Motability car for some years now. Previous to my Sirus conversion I had a standard car with a boot hoist. The discovery of my Sirus car instantly allowed not only me, but my family to regain a huge aspect of our independence we had lost for so long. Suddenly I found I had confidence, social inclusion, self control, happiness and total comfort to mention a few, all this slowly but surely came back to me when I sat upfront in my chair for the first time. And I had actually put myself there! No painful time consuming transfer, having to rely on my partner to lift me into the passenger seat, so it also makes his life easier and saves us time. Previously I’d choose not to leave the house because the effort of using my previous car became such a chore. Thankfully now I actually enjoy getting out and about and the rest of the family are usually playing catch up. My environment has never felt so inviting…New life here we come! And all thanks to my Motability car and the help from Sirus.”
The Sirus Fiat Future is our latest up front passenger vehicle solution and the most affordable on the market. Russell Venvil, company director commented “we strongly believe that travelling up front next to the driver is the future of accessible travel. Many of our customers are couples who want to sit side by side, which is of course a much more sociable way of travelling, than the chair user having to travel in rear”.
All Sirus vehicles are available through the Motability Car Scheme. www.motability.co.uk Click here for more information on the Sirus Up Front Passenger Fiat Qubo.
Sorry my blog is a little late this week! It has been an insanely busy week of travelling the UK. I thought I would use this as an opportunity to review some hotels and tell you how I got on with the public transport.
This has been the first full on travelling week since starting the business and I really enjoyed it!
To start with I went to the Liverpool Tattoo Convention with my boyfriend, this wasn’t necessarily work for me but it was for him as he is a trainee/apprentice tattooer. I drove to the convention in my drive from wheelchair car, as supplied by Sirus in 2011. It is always easier when I drive as there is no hassle of taking manual wheelchairs or getting on and off trains and in and out of taxis. I drive using a “normal-ish” set up. I drive an automatic car using my feet to control the pedals, my steering is slightly lightened and I have push buttons instead of a handbrake and gear stick. This is a picture of me driving on the motorway. Don’t worry, I didn’t take this myself ha ha.
We finally arrived in the centre of Liverpool. I hate driving around Liverpool as the one way systems are so annoying if you aren’t used to it. So you can imagine, I was so glad when I saw the NCP on Brownlow Hill, which is FREE for Blue badge holders! So we didn’t pay for parking all weekend, which is always a bonus. The tattoo convention was held at the Adelphi Britannia Hotel right opposite the NCP. The Adelphi is such an old building but to be fair to them they have kitted it out for wheelchair users. The rear entrance has a built in lift, which covers the 10 stairs to the entrance. It looks pretty unsightly so it’s great that a hotel are thinking about needs VS image for a change! The internal structure of the hotel is absolutely covered in stairs, but the Britannia have built little ramps and added stairlifts. They have really tried to make it fully accessible and seeing as its such an old structure it must have taken a lot of planning and work. I wouldn’t recommend that a disabled person goes to this hotel to stay over, only because it is a lot of effort. It’s a great location, within walking distance from Liverpool One and some good restaurants, however I would only stay in this hotel if you had a specific need to be there as there are better hotels, access wise near this area.
Following my day looking around the tattoo convention and watching my boyfriend get tattooed we drove to the hotel I had booked, The Holiday Inn Express in Hoylake. Now, I wasn’t expecting amazing things from this hotel as I think the plus about the Holiday Inn/Premier Inn/Travelodge hotels is that you know what you are getting, a clean, relatively comfortable not overly pricey room. However! I was SO surprised when I arrived in lovely Hoylake, it is such a cute little residential area around 20 minutes drive from Liverpool centre. It even has a beach at the end of the road.
Gorgeous isn’t it?, as you can see it was a stunning day!
We checked into the hotel room to see a huge room, perfectly kitted out for disabled people. I know that each disabled person has their own individual needs but I am sure that the Holiday Inn Express had a disabled consultant on board! There were just little things no one would normally notice, like two levels of hangers so a wheelchair user could hang up their own clothes. For once I could actually access every part of the room without crashing into a wall or knocking something over. It was great.
You even had a choice of firm or soft pillows!
I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express, Hoylake for £89 Inc VAT and Breakfast! Which I thought was really impressive, seeing as there was a convention on in Central Liverpool and most of the average hotels were going for £130ish per night, room only. I am so glad I found this hotel, as it was really easy to get to and disabled parking was free!
The following day we went back into Liverpool and had a little walk to Liverpool One shopping centre, visiting our favourite treat restaurant, Gourmet Burger Kitchen on the way. If you haven’t been there you should definitely try it!
We came across this outside Liverpool One – Live Music and it was a stunning day, so understandably we sat for a while.
The Second part of my busy travelling week was London! This was for my business. Our train was booked for 8.50am with Virgin Trains and we had to arrive 30mins early due to the assistance booking we had made and the new layout at New St Station, which is amazing by the way. We had first class tickets to get into London so it was great sitting there with UNLIMITED COFFEE!
Here is a little picture of me and Jaz on the train, annoying the other passengers haha.. We aren’t your normal “FIRST CLASS” couple. haha.
Jaz came with me to London to get some of his art done and do some observational drawing whilst I was in business meetings so this worked really well. If I had a message to someone reading this, I would say… Don’t be discouraged to travel alone. The train staff are normally helpful and will even take you on to your taxi/bus/other form of transport at the other end of the journey. I always used to travel on my own backward and forwards from Watford and felt relatively confident that the staff would always be there to help when needed. You also have a panic button next to your space incase assistance is needed.
I arrived to London Euston and got in a taxi straight to a day of meetings. Although London is full of black cabs you often struggle to grab one! My advice for this particular issue is to BE PERSISTENT! If a cab driver says they don’t have a ramp/don’t know how to work a ramp then persist, maybe ask if they can call one of their colleagues to take you. As most of the time they are just lazy as sad as that is.
Following a LONG day of meetings, I went back to the hotel, The Kensington Close Hotel in Kensington. Unfortunately, I was rushing around so much I don’t have any pictures for you. We were upgraded to an Executive Club Room and it was nicely spacious with a relatively big lift up to our floor. The front of the hotel has steps but there are two side entrances and staff are more than happy to help you into the building and give you assistance with your bags. Our room had a wet room shower and plenty of rails so again, the bathroom was pretty well kitted out! I was able to freely roam the hotel and any steps in the reception area had a stair lift next to them so this was fine. Staff are happy to assist with the stair lift also.
On the evening we had a drinks reception at Archer Street Bar, Soho. It is stunning, but not overly big.. however it’s accessible. The only thing is they have NO TOILET! Their ladies and mens toilets are both upstairs!!!… So there was literally NO WHERE for me to go to the toilet, however.. one of the waitresses contacted the restaurant over the road for me to ask if I could use their disabled toilet. The restaurant was Bocca di Lupo right over the street, they were ridiculously helpful! They had just sat a table of ten right in front of the disabled toilet and even though they were totally packed they still moved the table to allow me to use the toilet. I can’t thank them enough for their hospitality as the group of dinners were not happy at all.
After a night of drinking and socialising, it was back to the hotel and then we were to start again the following day! It was a crazy week and it felt like we were constantly on the go!
Archer Street Bar, Soho.
Any questions regarding business travel or travel in general, comment below.
So! I was invited to visit Naidex to join Sirus on their stand on Tuesday (30th May) and I loved it! Here is how I got on…
There is literally SO much to talk about from Naidex, I was so shocked as I didn’t expect there would be so much that would interest me as I don’t really use many “at home” products and I am already sorted on the car front thanks to SIRUS!
I attended the event with my lovely helpful boyfriend Jarath and he helped me out by taking loads of pics that I will share with you throughout the blog… When you see the pictures I think you will agree, he deserved this badge. “Jarath – Photographer”.
One of the first things I came across was this….
I was amazed and inspired by this stall. It was a mini art exhibition displaying the work of Mouth and Foot Artists… now I dabble in a bit of art myself… WITH MY HANDS. However, my work does not contain the attention to detail and skill that is displayed in the work shown by the MFPA painters. It is incredible. I have been doing a little research on MFPA myself since I got home, and I came across this website.. http://www.mfpa.co.uk. You should check it out.
I then went to visit Sirus on their stall and had a great chat with Vicky, John and Sarah. We also made a few films for you, so those are to come.. however the images can be viewed here… http://www.flickr.com/photos/sirusautomotive/
The next thing I came across was this…
The “YOUBIKE” stall.. The first time I saw something like this was at the “MediMotion” Store http://www.medimotion.co.uk they started as a rehab brand offering a “Passive, assisted or fully active” circulation booster for wheelchair users. Medimotion is a brilliant idea as it can be fully electric/assisted and it gives the user the time to relax whilst their circulation is boosted and their legs are exercised. It is also pretty small so it can be put in front of the TV! haha. Sounds perfect doesn’t it?
However, if you are like me and you are looking for more of an exercise solution, I would recommend the “YOUBIKE” http://www.youbike.co.nz ! As you can see from the site, the design is extremely sporty and it folds down so small. It is practical and you don’t need a huge space to acomodate it. The reason I like the Youbike so much is, I have been looking for an exercise machine FOREVER that offers this solution… REAL exercise for disabled people.
It seems to me that these guys have really done their research as you can add or subtract leg supports, adjust the height, adjust the amount it reclines and drive up to it comfortably from an electric wheelchair! Although this device is NOT power assisted, you can easily adjust the resistance creating an easy or a hard ride depending on your mood. I actually felt like I had, had a work out after using this and I am looking to buy one.
If any of you have good exercise options for disabled people, please let me know! I am always looking for new options… I like to swim but I also would like something I can do indoors/in a gym that gives a good cardio-boost! So… SUGGESTIONS WELCOME.
Following my little Youbike trial, I went to a talk by Access to Work https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work/overview. It was so interesting and I have actually just started an application to them for some care during business travel! So I will keep you updated with how that goes. Access to work have just been given a new allocation for the UK and they are looking to boost their profile, so I really recommend that you give them a call to discuss any work related needs! (Hoists, Lifts, Toilet facilities, Care, EVEN Taxis!). I know they are doing their best to help out all of their customers and when I called them they were extremely friendly and I filled in my application via telephone, it only takes around 15-20mins of your day, so it’s worth it.
These are an example of some of the talks that were on, on Tuesday…
As you can see from this lengthy blog, I had a great day at Naidex… and I will be going again, it is so interesting! I will also be joining the Sirus team again at the mobility roadshow! So keep your eyes peeled for my report on that.
Thanks again for reading guys, and please don’t be shy, leave me a comment below with any questions…
Hi, I am Kelly and I will be writing a weekly blog for Sirus from today. I will start with a little bit about myself. I am 24 years old and I am from the West Midlands. I am a wheelchair user and I have Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 3.
I have been a Sirus customer for a few years now but my family have had vehicles from Sirus for as long as I can remember. Sirus are different, they are personable and they actually care!… so when I got asked to do a weekly guest blog and to tweet for them I couldn’t say no! I think social media is a great platform to get what you are trying to say “out there” and I hope some of you agree with my views and enjoy reading this.
I was going to keep my first blog as a short and sweet introductory blog telling you a little bit about what I plan to cover in my pieces and a little about me but I found some statistics recently when reading a generic girly magazine that I just had to share with you as it was too relevant to just let it pass. The article was about first impressions and judging people. The article caught my eye straight away as it is something i’ve started to notice more and more due to my recent career change. I have recently become (5months ago) the director of a company called The Integrity Club. I was approached by an investor who was interested in my work at a previous company and we started the business together. I absolutely LOVE my job day to day but there is SO much to think about on a daily basis which is why I am glad I have been given the opportunity to blog by Sirus. Hopefully sharing little snippets of my life with Sirus customers will give other people answers and ideas, but equally, if anyone has advice for me… feel free to comment on these blogs! Anything to make life easier is appreciated.
So… to the statistics, huddled in between various random statistics about weight, gender and accents was this little gem “A third of all people believe wheelchair users are less intelligent. And a disabled person with a degree is less likely to have a job than a non-disabled person with no qualifications.” Now, I don’t know whether I am shocked or whether I find this simply hilarious/ridiculous. I have definitely had the whole “Wheelchair users are less intelligent” experience before. People talk to my mom/my boyfriend/my brother even my dog rather than addressing me on a daily basis, it’s highly frustrating.. this one isn’t new and I deal with it. Normally by making a point and using big words or talking about life achievements. Sometimes I even give them what they want and stay pretty silent/uninterested. It depends what mood I am in.
The part that shocked me was the “A disabled person with a degree is less likely to have a job than a non-disabled person with no qualifications.’ quote. I find this SHOCKING. I’d like to point out firstly that I do not have a degree. Myself and education don’t mix, I am pretty creative and I find it difficult to concentrate for more than five minutes without watching YouTube videos. I admire ANYONE with a degree, disability or not… It takes an enormous amount of dedication, money and a huge part out of someones life to get a degree. I also admire anyone with a job, disability or not. I think these statistics are shameful and it makes me genuinely sad to think of anyones talent and hard work going to waste. You see it every day.
It makes me wonder also about the people in the driving seat, the people handing out these jobs. What do THEY look for? Personally, if I get approached by someone who is passionate, caring and hardworking, it doesn’t matter to me what they look like, what they have done or if their are able bodied or not. I look for determination and drive and I would hope others do the same. The truth is they don’t and these statistics just highlight it further, and it is so sad. Why would someone rather employ a classically pretty, uneducated person over a disabled person who already has all the “tools” to do the job.
It’s always hard to prove yourself.. and I know i’ve had days similar to the ones I mentioned earlier where I would shy away and be quiet and almost bow to a persons perception of you. I don’t know why I ever did this. It’s kind of like judging yourself by someones else’s standards and beliefs.
So from today, I have made an internal vow! Be confident with who you are, be yourself and try your best. Work hard and hold your head up high and the opportunities will come to you. Most importantly, you probably wouldn’t enjoy working for someone who shared this view about people anyway! So just sit tight and wait for the right opportunity.
My next blog is going to be about Nadex! I am pretty excited to visit Nadex as I have never been to an event like this before. I will be on the Sirus stand so if you are going be sure to pop by and say hi to me! I am really looking forward to catching up with some new people and seeing what Nadex has to offer!
Thanks for reading and speak to you all soon,