In December 2021, Motability committed to use part of the £120 million of a donation from Motability Operations, the independent commercial company who deliver the Motability Scheme, to sustain and expand Scheme-related grants over the next three years.
One way in which we are aiming to achieve this is through our new three-year grant programme for Motability Scheme customers and eligible disabled people throughout the UK who would like to join the Scheme.
Following a successful pilot programme which enabled us to listen and gather user insight, our new programme – Bespoke Passenger Solutions, will support disabled people who are only able to travel as a passenger in a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) and who require specific, complex adaptations over and above those needed to simply enter and exit the vehicle. This new Scheme-related grant programme is one way in which the charity is keeping its commitment to use the donation over the next three years to expand grants for Motability customers.
Examples of the kind of adaptations and equipment that may be required in addition to those which enable someone to travel in their wheelchair could include:
- Ceiling hoists
- Folding tables or Changing beds
- Sensory equipment
- Storage for equipment or medication
- Sound dampening
- Interior or exterior lighting
- Perspex screens
Barry Le Grys, Chief Executive of Motability said: “As we expand our work into transport areas other than driving or travelling in a vehicle, the Motability Scheme continues to be a hugely important part of our charitable activity.
“In 2020/21 we supported nearly 3,000 beneficiaries through our existing Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle programme, however, when talking to disabled people it was clear that some people need solutions that are far more complex. Alongside our existing grant programmes, Bespoke Passenger Solutions will enable us to support many more beneficiaries, helping individuals and their carers throughout the UK.
“As our research shows, for many different reasons, disabled people face difficulties in accessing transport, be that as a driver, passenger, or when using public transport. Our research and innovation work will continue to inform us about what disabled people need from the Scheme and other areas of transport, both in the short-term, and in the future. We will continue to use it to help those both those who use the Scheme, and the many disabled people who choose not to, or who are not eligible to.”
Anthony’s wife Leslie has just received a grant through the new programme and the couple can’t wait to get their new vehicle: “It will make the world of difference to both mine and my wife’s lives” said Anthony. “Things have become very restricted when trying to travel in our current vehicle, almost impossible, due to my wife’s condition progressing and my disability causing me pain and difficulty. The new grant programme means Motability can offer us a grant which gives us the space and height we need in the new vehicle, as well as adaptations that will make a huge difference. I’ll be able to stand upright as I’m not able to bend with my condition and I’ll be able to turn my wife’s wheelchair around inside the vehicle. It also means my wife’s carer or nurse can come out with us too and the adaptations will help them to manage her care from within the vehicle, as they always need to travel with us now. If it wasn’t for this new vehicle we soon wouldn’t be able to leave our home.”
This programme launched on 1 April 2022. For more information, including where we are currently prioritising our funding, please visit our Bespoke Passenger Solutions website page.