West Sussex mobility support charity awarded National Lottery grant

Martin Osment, Freedom Powerchairs chairman, with East Worthing MP Tim Loughton and Paul Baker
Martin Osment, Freedom Powerchairs chairman, with East Worthing MP Tim Loughton and Paul Baker

A charity providing mobility aids in West Sussex has been awarded a National Lottery Community Fund grant to upgrade its IT equipment, including a new 3D printer.

Freedom Powerchairs, which is based in Shoreham and has a workshop in Worthing, offers bespoke and tailored solutions, custom builds, especially upholstery, to meet exact needs.

Martin Osment, chairman, said: “This grant greatly enhances our training capability, with a smartboard and projector, and we can now print A4, A3 and A2 posters.

“We can now offer excellent training to volunteers with computer, electrical or mechanical interests, including manufacturers’ courses, and welcome new members to join our friendly team.

“More, we are getting a 3D printer system to enable us to make small parts, such as buffers, bushes, handgrips, etc. This adds to our engineering capability, whereby we either make or have made almost any part no longer available.

“Our role is primarily to provide mobility support for the most disadvantaged members of the community, those who cannot get needed solutions from mobility shops, or who cannot fund their solutions.”

Martin was disabled in a light aircraft crash in 1993, then in a road accident, and needed to use his engineering skills to find solutions for himself. Others wanted similar approaches, so the charity was formed in 2012 and has grown ever since.

Freedom Powerchairs has comprehensive workshop facilities in Bridge Road, Worthing, and offers bespoke mobility aids for those with special needs, as well as maintenance, repairs and servicing of all aids, powerchairs, scooters and wheelchairs.

Martin added: “We support obsolete items and make special parts. We also run the Community Support Mobile Workshop, which takes facilities to clients, to help them be more involved in fixing their mobility aids.

“Whatever a person’s mobility needs, we and our team of volunteers are here to help, and will visit at home for free needs assessments.”

Visit freedompowerchairs.org.uk for more information.