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Checking your wheelchair is Crash Tested and safe to transport in a vehicle

This entry was posted in General September 10, 2018

Wheelchairs are a mobility aid commonly used by thousands of people around the UK on a daily basis for a variety of mobility needs. If you are looking at purchasing a wheelchair, an important factor to consider is if it is compatible to be used inside a vehicle such as a mini bus, taxi or car. Many wheelchair users often find travelling a challenge or worry about how they will get to places such as hospital appointments if they struggle manoeuvring in and out of their chair. Many wheelchair users may find it more comfortable when remained seated in their own wheelchair while travelling, so it is important to ensure it is safe to be used within a vehicle. We find that many customers do not understand what the term “Crash Tested” actually refers too, but the safety of our customers is of the highest importance to us here at Ableworld, so we hope this quick guide helps to give you a better understanding.

What does Crash Tested Mean?

If a manufacturer refers to a wheelchair as “Crash Tested” or “Transportable” it means that the wheelchair is safe to be pushed inside a suitable vehicle during travel, that features anchor points that can be secured into place with the occupant seated within the wheelchair. The anchor points within the vehicle are used by attaching straps to the anchor points on the wheelchair. These straps are then tightened to ensure the wheelchair will not move in the event of an accident and therefore protecting the wheelchair user from harm when travelling.

How do I know if my wheelchair is Crash Tested?

Wheelchairs that have been manufactured and suitably tested for secure use within a suitable vehicle will be marked clearly on the wheelchair with anchor symbols featured on the frame of the wheelchair, similar to the image to the right. The icon is most commonly displayed on the front frame of the chair, however details are also clearly stated within the user manual, and we include details on the individual product pages on our Ableworld website.

Are all Wheelchairs Crash Tested or only certain types?

No, not all wheelchairs are crash tested and you should double check the manufacturers guide and look for the anchor symbols on the wheelchair frame to check. There are a variety of crash tested models available from Ableworld, including Self Propel wheelchairs, which have larger rear wheels that allow the user to propel themselves to travel, or our Transit Wheelchairs, whereby the wheelchair user is pushed by a carer, friend or family member with the rear handles. You must check for compatibility before transport and do not just presume your wheelchair model is compatible.

Is it safe to use my wheelchair in a vehicle?

If your wheelchair has been declared as safe by the manufacturer and the transport you are using is fitted with the capability of carrying a passenger seated within a wheelchair, then it should be safe. This is subject to the wheelchair being fitted correctly to all of the anchor points and that the user is wearing a suitable 3 point seatbelt. Please note a Wheelchair lap belt is not a suitable seatbelt for use in a vehicle.

Taxi companies and ambulance staff should all be suitably trained on securing a wheelchair into their vehicle as they are responsible for the safety of their passengers, and will ensure you are secure before departing. If you are unsure then please don’t be afraid to ask the driver or enquire when booking a taxi if they are trained to carry and secure wheelchair passengers.

At Ableworld we stock a range of wheelchairs in our stores, many of which have been crash tested and feature the anchor logo. If you are unsure whether the wheelchair you own is crash tested please do not hesitate to contact the store which you purchased it from.

To view all of our wheelchairs online please visit our category page here. For additional information about the wheelchairs we sell, or for a free demonstration please pop into your local store and our fully trained staff can answer any concerns you may have.

 

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Ableworld recognition in 2018 AMP awards nominations

This entry was posted in General August 9, 2018

We are extremely pleased that we have recently been shortlisted in several categories for this year’s 2018 AMP awards. The Access & Mobility Professional awards are to celebrate the achievements of retailers and dealers in the UK mobility industry over the past year. The awards recognise the importance of impeccable customer service, innovative thinking and business success, highlighting both individuals, dealers and store managers. There are ten categories in total, of which we have been shortlisted in five of these, an achievement that we are exceptionally proud of.

The Winners of the awards are to be announced on the night of Sunday 7th October, of which many of our Ableworld staff will be in attendance. The outcome of the AMP awards are entirely decided by the industry, with individuals working for both suppliers and dealers entitled to vote on the finalists that have been shortlisted. The voting is open until Friday 7th September, and can be found here.

The list of our five shortlisted nominations for the following categories at the 2018 AMP Awards are:

  • Dealer of the Year (Rest of UK) – Ableworld UK
  • Dealer of the Year South – Ableworld Southampton
  • Best Customer Service Initiative – Ableworld UK
  • Store Manager of the Year – Darren Evans, Ableworld UK
  • Unsung Hero of the Year – Louise Mason, Ableworld UK

We are honoured that Ableworld UK has been recognised as a whole, but ecstatic that two of our individual staff, one franchise store and a Head office department has been shortlisted for different categories also. These awards highlight the skilful and passionate staff that we have working at Ableworld, and the dedication that we go to to assist others.

We would be delighted to walk away with all five nominated awards, but we need a lot of help achieving this. The voting is open online now until 7th September and it only takes 5 minutes to complete. Every individual who works for our suppliers is entitled to vote, meaning that anyone who supplies our stores with a service or product is eligible. Unfortunately our customers are not authorised to vote, however we are always appreciative of any feedback or comments we receive.  We are grateful of any votes that we obtain and we hope to be announcing some winning results in the near future.

For additional information please contact us.

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Ableworld Southampton are on hand for all your Mobility needs

This entry was posted in General August 8, 2018

Our friendly team at Ableworld Southampton are well known in the local community for bringing mobility knowledge and support to individuals in the area. Jeff, Steven, and the team are extremely approachable and are highly skilled in their departments, with a vast amount of experience and knowledge between them. All members of staff have the same caring approach to look after all our customers, by supplying them with the best quality mobility aids for their individual needs. 

Our large Southampton Superstore is located on Portsmouth Road, and is highly accessible as it is opposite the bus station and is a short walk from Woolston Railway Station. We also have customer car parking at the rear of the store, including disabled spaces. Furthermore we are located on several main bus routes, making it easy to visit us in store! 

As the largest mobility retailer on the South West coast we stock a huge variety of mobility products that all aim to help customers live more active and comfortable lives. We stock products such as Boot ScootersWheelchairsRiser Recliner Chairs and Kitchen Accessories. Our large superstore also features an extensive Stairlift demonstration area, as well as room to fully demonstrate all of our larger mobility products, such as Wheelchairs, to our customers. As an ethical company we have a certain amount of products that we will not sell before we do an assessment and demonstration, just to ensure that both our customers and we feel comfortable with the certain product, and this open area is ideal for assessment purposes.

At Ableworld Southampton we are extremely proud to be Which? Trusted Trader endorsed for our Servicing and Engineering work. Our engineering team consists of Steven, Stephen and Andy, who all aim to provide quick and efficient services, at reasonable rates. We can provide Mobility services on all types of products, such as mobility scooter repairs and wheelchair servicing. Our engineers can also talk you through our Stairlift  process and provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision, including a free no obligation quote. Our engineers can provide fully reconditioned stairlifts, brand new stairlifts and rental options for straight and curved staircases, all at reasonable rates. 

Our engineers and store staff can cover a radius of 30 miles around our store, including Eastleigh, Hampshire, Lymington, Portsmouth, Romsey and Winchester, making sure that even if you can't visit us in store for a demonstration or assessment, we are more than happy to come out to you. 

At Ableworld we aim to give all customers a relaxed and pleasurable shopping experience, without the need for pressure selling. We want to ensure that our customers are getting the right product for their needs, not just the most expensive mobility aid. If you are in or around the Southampton, Portsmouth and Hampshire area and require additional information about our mobility products or services then please give us a call on 0800 038 7800 or visit us in store at 42-46 Portsmouth Road, Woolston, Southampton, SO19 9AD. 

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Health Care Centre announces closure of St Asaph store

This entry was posted in General August 6, 2018

We are very sad to hear that recently another local mobility store, Health Care Centre in St Asaph, has closed its doors after almost 40 years trading in the Mobility care industry. As a caring company their experience in providing a range of care home and disability equipment for individuals came as a high priority to them. As a long running caring company it is a shame to see their doors close.

We would like to reassure local Health Care Centre customers from St Asaph and the surrounding areas of Rhyl, Abergele and Prestatyn that Ableworld Rhyl is here and happy to help.

We appreciate that many customers shopping for mobility aids may feel vulnerable or nervous about asking for advice, but our friendly Rhyl team are all fully trained to offer free and personal service when it comes to shopping for mobility aids. We have a large showroom in Rhyl which features a great demonstration area, ensuring we can offer the widest range of mobility aids to all of our customers.

Our Rhyl store, along with all Ableworld stores, including Ableworld Chester and Ableworld Llandudno, can offer free home demonstrations for mobility aids if you or a loved one struggle to get out of your home. All of our staff members are fully DBS checked and provide identification for our customer’s peace of mind.

We cover a 30 mile radius of our stores so that we can do home demonstrations and Mobility product installations, servicing and repairs- including our great range of Stairlifts. We aim to ensure that we can cover all of the local towns and villages around the North Wales area. 

At Ableworld we are dedicated to supporting customers every step of the way, including aftersales, which is why we employ highly skilled in-house engineers to ensure we can repair and service the mobility aids we provide. Our engineers can provide installation, servicing and repairs on all types of mobility aids, including those that have been purchased elsewhere. We want to reassure any Health Care Centre customers that our North Wales based engineers are on hand to help with any mobility scooter, wheelchair, stairlift or other mobility aid problems. As Which? endorsed Trusted Traders for our servicing work, we understand that the independence gained from mobility equipment is extremely important to some, therefore we aim for repairs to be completed as quickly and efficiently as possible. We furthermore have an urgent Stairlift out of hours number, where we are on call 24/7 to assist with your problem. For more servicing information please do not hestiate to contact us.

As well as our Rhyl store, we also have a brand NEW superstore recently opened in Llandudno town centre, next door to the Coach park. Our new Llandudno store has a large and extensive range of products, and features a mobility scooter test track, to allow for ideal demonstration before purchase. Our new Llandudno store is in a convenient location close to the sea front and the town centre, making it handy for both visitors and residents to the area.

Both our Rhyl and Llandudno stores also feature a Wheelchair and Mobility Scooter hire at great rates. Subject to availability, Wheelchairs and Mobility Scooters can both be hired for any period of time, and can be an ideal way to make a decision about a mobility aid before committing to a purchase. Our mobility hire is also great for weekend trips to North Wales, saving on worrying about transportation of your own aids. 

We understand that Health Care Centre has closed its outlet in St Asaph promptly, leaving some customers unsure about their mobility care future. Please be reassured that Ableworld are committed in continuing to help as many customers as we can offering a wide range of Mobility aids at competitive prices, to the whole of the UK.

For additional information or assistance please contact us today.

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Ableworld Ethical Selling Policy

This entry was posted in General July 20, 2018

 After more calls have been made for tighter Mobility Scooter laws to prevent ‘unfit users’ from purchasing equipment without being assessed, here at Ableworld we want to reassure our customers that we will be continuing to trade as an ethical mobility retailer as we have always done since we were founded in 2000. 

At a time when many Mobility Retailers have given in and sold scooters online with no checks, here at Ableworld we strongly believe that before purchasing some items of mobility equipment, customers should be correctly assessed and advised which product fits their needs best. 

Michelle Mossford, Senior Marketing Manager stated ‘The wrong product sold over the internet or in-store without a proper assessment could lead to added complications to a person’s condition. For this reason some of our products are only available for purchase after an assessment has been made either in the home or in one of our stores.  This can sometimes mean we lose out to ‘less responsible’ Competitors who have no concerns selling over the internet or without a thorough assessment’.

The products that we insist must have an assessment prior to purchase include Riser Recliner Chairs, Scooters, Powerchairs and Wheelchairs.

If you would like an assessment in your home, please contact your nearest Ableworld store for more information or alternatively please visit your local store, where our trained advisors will be happy to help you.

At Ableworld not only do we run regular Scooter Proficiency sessions aimed at keeping our customers safe, but we also produce a free Highway Code for Mobility Scooters and Users. This free guide covers everything you need to know in order to stay safe whilst using a mobility scooter, and to keep other road users and pedestrians safe. It also includes the DVLA registration process, advice on insurance and guidance on how to use your scooter safely.

Pick up your free, easy to use, and illustrated Highway Code today from your local Ableworld Store.

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Advice against Doorstep callers

This entry was posted in General July 16, 2018

At Ableworld we pride ourselves on being an ethical trader that will never pressure sell our mobility items, and if we feel that a product should have an assessment then we will not sell these items before we have discussed and demonstrated the product in person.

Our Ableworld staff will never knock on your door to sell our products or services, nor will we pressure sell over the telephone, as we know this is an unethical way to do business. There is, however, many companies that do work like this, and in turn manage to upturn large sums of cash. Doorstep callers are persuasive in the way they can get you to open your door to them, however this can immediately put you in danger of a potential scam.

While there are legitimate tradespeople and officials, it is wise to be alert when answering your door. Doorstep scammers can be persuasive or pushy, but also polite or friendly, and it can be easy to fall victim. It is especially important to be vigilant and mindful if you live on your own.

At Ableworld we know how upsetting it can be to be faced with a Doorstep caller, therefore below are some useful tips to guard against them:

  • If you open the door and are in doubt about the caller, keep them out. If they are genuine they will contact you by other means, such as by letter.
  • Have a door security chain installed onto your door, and make sure it is attached when you open the door. This way you can view the caller and still speak, but you are ensuring that they cannot come any further.
  • Always ask and check the identification of the caller by phoning their employer. Do not use the phone number they supply, but keep a list of key contact numbers near your phone so you can check out if they are a legitimate caller.
  • Never agree to callers who say “we are only in the area today”. Do not let anyone carry out work on your house until you get a second opinion. If you take their details, you can be the one who then decides if and when the work gets done.
  • Never keep large sums of money in the house and keep purses out of sight, not near the door.
  • Never give out any of your details or signature. Some scammers ask you to complete a survey so they can get hold of your personal details, or use it to persuade you to buy something from them.
  • Call a friend, neighbour or relative about any scams you become aware of. Contact a local relative or nominated neighbour who can help verify a cold caller.
  • Report scams or suspected scams to Action Fraud: 0300 123 2040. If you think someone is a rogue trader call 101, or to report a distraction burglar or rogue trader that has taken your money and is still in the area, call 999.

Remember you always have the right to ask all unwanted callers to go away and not return.

At Ableworld we genuinely care about the safety wellbeing of our customers, and therefore if you are concerned about a local mobility doorstep caller, please contact your local Ableworld store where we will be able to assist you further.

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Ableworld Oswestry Spring Prize Draw Winners

This entry was posted in General June 19, 2018

As part of our Spring promotion, our Ableworld Oswestry store ran a Spring Prize Draw between 21st April and 26th May with £500 of Ableworld vouchers up for grabs! We are pleased to announce that the 4 lucky winners have been randomly selected and we have been able to present over £500 in vouchers back to them.

Mrs Beddows who won £250 in Gift vouchers was shocked when she was given the good news. Her daughter said "I'm very pleased my Mum won! We are going to get a new lightweight wheelchair so we can go for days out and shopping!". 

Mr Parry won £150 in gift vouchers in our competition. He said "I'm very happy I won this time as I've entered every year since the competition began, I'm going to use the voucher to help pay for my scooters to be serviced!". We are so pleased that you were a lucky winner this time round Mr Parry! 

There are plenty of prizes to choose from for the lucky 4 winners, from Boot Scooters and Riser Recliners to Pill Boxes and Slippers. We have a mobility aid for the majority of purposes!

The staff at the Oswestry store, located in the Main Entrance of the RJ & AH Orthopaedic Hospital wanted to give something back to the local community who have continued to support them since their opening in 2004. Mike Tomlinson store manager said “We have a lot of regular customers and sometimes it’s just nice to be able to thank them for their support and loyalty. With us being tucked inside the RJ & AH Orthopaedic Hospital not everyone is aware we are here, or aware of the range of products and services we can offer to the local community and we are hoping to raise that awareness”. We are hoping that this prize draw helps to raise the awareness of our store, allowing us to help even more people with their mobility aids!

Well done and Congratulations to all of our four lucky winners, we hope you enjoy using your surprise winnings!

Keep a look out for our next comeptitions in our Oswestry store, located at RJ & AH Orthopaedic Hospital, Gobowen, Oswestry, SY10 7AG, or give us a call on 01691 680180. 

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