5 Places for a Disabled Activity Break in the UK

If you require a fun getaway and want to experience some new activities, treating yourself to an adventure break may be the ideal holiday for you. As providers of high-quality mobility scooters in North Devon, we know how important it is to have the accessibility to an adventure! Here at Essential Mobility, we have selected a variety of accessible sites across the country which are specifically aimed to offer activity holidays for those who have disabilities. If you would like some handy tips on travel, take a look at our blog on Travel Advice for the Disabled.

Exmoor pony in a field.

The Calvert Trust

The Calvert Trust is an exceptional charity who specialise in providing accessible, adventure holidays for everyone to enjoy. There are three centres in total, and these are situated across England in Exmoor, Kielder and the Lake District. The accessible sites each offer a range of activities specialised to each centre and include experiences such as abseiling, kayaking, cycling and horse riding. Here at Essential Mobility, we are proud to know that Calvert Trust Exmoor is located not far from our Barnstaple store. Located close to the stunning North Devon coastline, a more recent addition to the list of activities, Calvert Trust Exmoor now provides one to one surfing lessons which make for an exciting adventure break!

Swans grazing at the edge of water.

CanalAbility

This award-winning charity offers exciting activity breaks for those who would like to experience life on a canal. They host adapted canal boats which can be used by those who have disabilities or special needs. The canal breaks can be enjoyed as a full day out or as a weekend getaway. Situated in Essex, the charity offers journeys through the beautiful countryside belonging to Essex and Hertfordshire along the River Stort and Lee. Adventure trips allow you to steer the canal boat and you can try your hand at managing the locks. Longer breaks will enable you to experience the city of London through the Grand Union Canal. Fully equipped to meet requirements necessary for passengers, the boats are fully centrally heated to deliver fantastic adventures all year round.

East Soar Outdoor Experience

This accessible site can be found in South Devon, nestled amongst a charming National Trust farm, close to the well sought after coastal town of Salcombe. It is home to a variety of activities which offer the opportunity to team build. Whether you would like to make the most of the stunning nearby beaches, have a go at bushcraft, test yourself with problem-solving challenges or cook up a feast with outdoor cooking, there are plenty of options to choose. It is mainly aimed to provide outdoor activities for children with educational needs but can also be accessed by mainstream groups. The accessible site stretches across seven and a half acres of glorious countryside and farmland.

Close up on the deck of a white yacht.

The Nancy Oldfield Trust

Their motto is ‘making adventure possible’, with a stunning site located in the idyllic village of Neatishead on Barton Broad, at The Nancy Oldfield Trust, you will want to indulge in the all the water activities offered here. The site specialises in water based activities including sailing, canoeing and motorboat trips. The motorboat trips soar across the Barton Broad, offering a sense of tranquillity amongst the beautiful scenery and wildlife of the area. Available for holidays over a week or a couple of days, this accessible site is suitable for all ages and abilities.

Woodlands Adventure

Located in the West Midlands, Woodlands Adventure is geared to bringing groups of people together through fun and life-enhancing activities. Whether you belong to a university social group, want to organise a school trip or require a bonding experience for work purposes, this adventure break is the perfect place to make memories and try new experiences. On hand to ensure any necessary requirements are met, Woodlands Adventure is equipped with hoist and slide boards to ensure all guests can have a go at a desired activity and staff are fully trained to support all guests. Popular experiences at this accessible site include paddle sports, a climbing wall and abseiling.

Have you experienced a memorable holiday in the UK? Do you have any suggestions for accessible sites in the UK? We would love to hear about them! Share your experiences with us via our social media channels- we look forward to hearing from you.

Five 2020 Activities for Seniors in North Devon

As the New Year begins and the inspiration of New Year’s resolutions surround us, the urge to try new things and meet more people may feel more motivational. Here at Essential Mobility, we are dedicated to providing high-quality mobility scooters and know how important it is to get out there and feel a sense of freedom. Our stores in Barnstaple and Bideford are surrounded by an array of activities for senior citizens to enjoy, and the year 2020 is no exception! We have found some of the most social and influential experiences for you to try this year! Whether you would like to complete more exercise, get creative or learn a new skill, there is something for everyone to try! For some inspirational places to visit in the area, please take a look at our blog on 6 of the Best Wheelchair-friendly Routes in North Devon.

Tea and IT

These educational sessions are a product of the fantastic support by Age UK. If you are curious about the world of technology and would like to educate yourself on the subject, two-hour sessions are provided every Thursday at the Bideford Library from 2:00 pm. The group sessions require a donation of £3 per person. If you think you would benefit from one to one sessions, these are available and cost £7 per hour, by request. If you would like to learn more about this opportunity, you can contact Trish Warren by phoning 0333 241 2340 or email p.warren@ageukdevon.co.uk.

Cup of coffee and reading glasses on wooden table.

Seated Vitality

Another session put in place by the inspirational charity Age UK, Seated Vitality is, as you’ve guessed, a form of exercise which requires you to stay seated! It is a steady form of exercise which encourages mobility without too much strain and pressure on joints. These exercise sessions can be found at Barnstaple Social Club. The sessions will begin on Wednesday 8th January and continue for a total of four weeks. Get down there at 11:30 and feel rejuvenated after an hour of exercise! Each class costs £5 per person. For more information, please phone 0333 241 2340 or email info@ageukdevon.co.uk.

Stained Glass Workshop

Based in Bideford, these classes in the art of stained glass are a lovely opportunity to try your hand at creativity and to try something new. The workshops consist of designing your own stained glass and choosing driftwood to accompany your beautiful design. You will practise:
• Glass cutting
• Grinding
• Foiling
• Soldering
The stained glass painting workshops are currently available throughout January until April 2020 and cost £55 per class. For more information and details about session times, please ring 07761998651.

A white vase full of paintbrushes.

VE Festival

Get your dancing shoes on and head to the streets for a friendly and welcoming celebration! The festival runs from 9th until 10th May and has been created by the wonderful Veterans Charity as a way to remember the guns falling silent when the war in Europe ended 75 years ago. The occasion is a free celebration and is a fabulous way to meet up with friends and family in the area. Feel alive with live music and enjoy a lively street party of dancing and remembrance.

The Square Dance is an event which is a part of the festival and is situated in the Town Square of Barnstaple. It is a forties themed occasion, be sure to get involved!

Snowdrop Weekend

The RHS Garden Rosemoor is hosting a Snowdrop Weekend at their stunning location in Great Torrington on the weekend of 1st February. A beautifully blossoming display of springs earliest offerings, this makes for a peaceful and refreshing day out. Make sure to visit the Lecture Hall and see the Desirable Plants nursery, Cottage Plants and Triffids Nursery to indulge in some unique displays from 10 am to 3 pm. Make the most of the outing and enjoy a guided walk from 11:30 am where you can learn about the snowdrops and the many other early bloomers! Dr Julian Sutton is offering an illustrated talk at the Small Garden Room on both days, which explores ‘Snowdrops in Context’. If you’re an RHS member, the visit is free of charge! For those who are not, it’s £11.80 for adults and for children aged five to 16 it’s £5.90 per ticket.

Close up of a snowdrop flower.

With so much activity in 2020, make sure you can get around with ease. Here at Essential Mobility, we are dedicated to providing mobility scooters to suit a variety of needs. For those who require more transferability, our TGA folding mobility scooters may be the perfect solution. If you know of any fun activities for 2020, please let us know on our social media channels. We would love to hear about them!

Car Adaptions for the Disabled

Living with a disability can make some activities more difficult than others and that can certainly be said for driving. However, getting from A to B with ease is imperative for the disabled and can play a major role in establishing independence. Here at Essential Mobility, we understand the importance of those living with disabilities to be as independent as possible and provide a diverse range of all-terrain mobility scooters to ensure just that, but for those embarking upon slightly longer journeys, car adaptions will enable you to drive with confidence. We’ve put together a list of just five fantastic car adaptions that are designed to deliver a seamless solution for those that need extra assistance when driving.

Man drives car with lower body driving aids

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Accessible Tarka Trail Highlights

Last Bridge To Bideford

CC by Andrew (Last Bridge To Bideford)

The Tarka Trail is a beautiful walking and cycling route spanning North and West Devon, as well as Torridge. The trail is one of the most extensive dedicated walking and cycling paths in the country and has an array of highlights along the route. This blog will explore some of those attractions that are wheelchair-accessible, and will hopefully encourage you to visit some of them for yourself.

Most people think of the Tarka Trail as only consisting of the 30-mile stretch between Braunton and Meeth. However, the full Tarka Trail is actually a figure of eight around Devon, reaching from Bideford to Exmoor, and from Exmoor to the tip of Dartmoor. In total, the trail is over 160 miles in length, with many attractions along the way. This blog will include the extended 160-mile trail’s attractions.

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5 Ways to Improve Your Sense of Freedom as a Wheelchair User

The determination and independence of Paralympic athletes is something to be admired. It can be challenging to know where to start in gaining a fully independent life or even know where to find the right information on getting started. We have put together some ideas on ways to achieve more independence and ultimately give you a new sense of freedom.

Disability symbol on a parking space

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Top Tips to Keep You Warm this Winter

The weather outside may be starting to get a little chillier, but that shouldn’t stop you getting out and about in the winter months. We have put together some top tips for keeping warm when venturing out, or even staying in, during the winter.

Gloves holding a cup of coffee whilst looking at high quality mobility scooters

Layer Up

Rather than just wearing one thick layer, like a big jumper, it is better to wear several thin layers of clothing, as they help trap the warm air close to your body and keep you warmer for longer. Also, when out and about in windy weather it is important to layer up, so you are less exposed to the cold. Go for material made of wool or fleece, as they will keep you warmest.

Cosy Feet

It is sometimes said having warm feet keeps the rest of you warm, so it is important to keep your feet as cosy as the rest of you, especially if you are not using them when getting around with a mobility scooter. Invest in some thermal socks, and sturdy footwear when outdoors, and have some cosy slippers and some fluffy socks for when you are at home. The air is coolest at ground level, so getting a footstool is good so you can keep your feet away from the floor and keep them toasty.

Hats, Scarves and Gloves

Most of our body heat is lost through the head and neck, so a hat and scarf are essentials you shouldn’t leave home without. Scarves should also be able to wrap around your lower face too, as when it is icy cold, it helps warm the air you are breathing to prevent a nasty shock to your lungs when breathing in. When it comes to gloves, mittens are sometimes better at keeping your hands warm, but they are not as dexterous. Also, if you are feeling cold at home, you can pop a hat or scarf on indoors!

Blankets and Shawls

Sitting down and not moving means you get colder quicker, so a blanket or shawl is needed to keep you snug, even when heading outdoors. You can get blankets that are slightly waterproof for using in wheelchairs and mobility scooters outdoors, but at home, a big cosy blanket or shawl you can easily wrap around you will be sufficient.

Bedtime

When heading to bed, you may want to put on some thermal underwear or bed socks, which will help you keep you warm through the night. A soft hat or cap might also be needed, as your head is the most exposed to the cold. A hot water bottle is a simple but effective way of keeping warm in the evening and in bed too – get one with a fluffy cover for extra snugness!

Hot Food and Drinks

After being outdoors in the cold, there is nothing which will warm you up quicker than some hot food or drink. A carb-rich and slow energy release meal, such as porridge, soup or stew are recommended, as your body will warm up as it burns off the food. When outdoors, having a warm drink in a Thermos flask is an excellent idea, as it can keep you warm when you’re on the go.

Make sure you follow these top tips to stay warm if you are feeling chilly this winter or if you’re planning on going out in the cold in one of our high quality mobility scooters.