Lake District Mobility will provide specialist 'all terrain' mobility scooters to outdoor businesses and attractions, to improve access to Cumbria and The Lake District National Park's views and mountains, for people with limited mobility.
Lake District Mobility's aim is to promote access for all by breaking down barriers that prevent people with limited mobility participating in the same outdoor activities as their family, friends and the wider community.
The story so far... a word from our founder.
This all started when I went round to my grandfather in law's house one day. My grandfather in law had read an inspiring story in the Trail Magazine, about Debbie North, (Access the Dales) who had completed the Coast to Coast in a 'all-terrain' vehicle.
My grandfather in law said "I'd love one of those machines to be able to get up a mountain one more time". The seed was planted. Why should a retired mountaineer not be able to see the views of the mountains again? Why shouldn't anyone with limited mobility be able to see the views and benefit from being in the outdoors?
A couple of weeks later I was talking with my friend Ruth, who has experience in overseas community development. She inspired me to research if there was anything to help my grandfather in law get outdoors. Amazingly, I found that although there are many sites around England with all-terrain vehicles, there is little in Cumbria and the Lake District.
For a year Ruth mentored me, gently encouraging me that this project was possible. I started to make contacts, from Councillor Anne Bradshaw, Chairman of Copeland Disability Forum, Nathan Fox, Forest Ranger at Whinlatter Forest Park and Adrian Jones, Facilities Manager at The Calvert Trust. All along the way people encouraged me that such a service in the Lake District and Cumbria was needed.
In my research I discovered Countryside Mobility based in the South West of England who provide an off road mobility scooter hire scheme to 40 sites for people who have difficulty walking. After speaking to Neil Warren - Project Manager, I felt that this was the type of service model I was looking for.
The next turning point was meeting Duncan and Yvonne Booth, Founders of '10 in 10'. They are an incredible couple and their story about how they started the '10 in 10' is so inspiring. Not only did Yvonne show me through her story, that I could do this but were also hoping to sponsor Lake District Mobility’s first all terrain vehicle.
In October I took my concept to Bridget Johns of Cumbria Voluntary Services, who after listening to the concept agreed that CVS would be happy to work with me and would help me set up Lake District Mobility as a charity.
In November 2016 Lake District Mobility formed a board of Trustees, Ruth Kurkal (Founding Trustee), Anna Scamans and Adrian Jones. On December 14th, 2016 we submitted an application for charity status to the Charity Commission.
In April 2017 we gained Charity Status, Registered Charity Number 1172739.
January 19th 2018 we received a large donation from a private donor who had also used Countryside Mobility scheme and knew what benefits it would bring to our area.
In April 2018 Chris Macleod agreed to become Lake District Mobility's fourth Trustee. Chris brings financial expertise and experience in limited mobility.
On May 2nd Lake District Mobility was launched in Whinlatter Forest and we gained our first member, Pat Newlove!!!!!!
May 8th, we moved into our new office, Age UK, 93 Main street, Cockermouth. This was through the support and Partnership of Age UK.
June 2018 we gained our highly experienced Volunteer Charity Adminstrator, Karen Smith.
I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone that has helped and encouraged the development of this project, from Jenny who makes me cakes, Debbie Hornsby joining our team as our photographer, Catherine that gives me a lift because I can't drive, my parents who have given me an invaluable background in business and all the people that know all the big words you need to know in this professional world I'm attempting to surf on behalf of God. To Murray my husband, apart from God, you encourage me and support me to be everything that I am today, thank you Muz.
- Julia Walker, Founder