Luton based vehicle company Quingo have helped to wheel Britain’s one and only ‘Scooter Formation Team’ – the Red Wheelies – into the spotlight by providing them with scooters with which they aim to complete their biggest challenge yet: a gruelling journey along the full length of Hadrian’s Wall, travelling over 84 miles in less than two weeks – all on Quingo Sport mobility scooters.
It is the first time that anyone has ever attempted to travel the distance of the world renowned Roman wall on mobility scooters in its 2,000 year history – and, with the backing of local company AVC Ltd and their Quingo scooters, the ladies are set to be true trail blazers and, if successful, their experiences could encourage other people to follow in their tracks for years to come.
All members of this pioneering party have Multiple Sclerosis – eight of the nine are grannies, two celebrate their ruby wedding anniversaries this year, three will turn 60 before the end of 2009 and between them, they boast an impressive combined age of 542.
The group are undertaking this colossal challenge to raise much needed funds for The Kent Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre in Canterbury, a self funding charity, set up by MS sufferers – and offering oxygen therapy, physiotherapy, nutrition and diet advice, nurse clinics, support groups and counselling services for both patients and carers.
Director of AVC Ltd (manufacturers of Quingo Mobility Vehicles), Mark Nicholls, personally hand delivered the shiny new scooters to the intrepid Red Wheelies on 17 April. He said; “Our products have been designed to give people with mobility issues their independence back and I don’t think I have ever met a more determined, independently-minded set of ladies in my life before! If anyone can successfully undertake this challenge, they can. Everyone at Quingo is incredibly proud to be involved with the trip.”
Red Wheelie team leader, Jackie Weeden, said; “We are doing all this to show that MS is not necessarily the end – but can be the start of something different. We’re sure there will be many laughs along the way and perhaps a few tears, but one of the things we will definitely have is fun – and lots of it.
“We also want people to know that we are self-funding and doing this expedition as part of our annual holiday, ensuring all funds raised go direct to the Therapy Centre we attend.
“We have received some fantastic support from AVC Ltd and their Quingo Mobility Scooters –without them, this trip really wouldn’t have been possible. Most scooters have three or four wheels and are designed for use around shopping centres and on even surfaces but we will be out in the wild tackling stones, rocks, tree roots, puddles and potholes so we needed transport that could cope – which Quingos can as they have five wheels, meaning they are sturdy as well as manoeuvrable on every type of surface – bumpy or flat. When Mark agreed to let us have ten top of the range five wheel sports models, it was all systems go. We just can’t wait to get started now.”
The Red Wheelies have also been working in close partnership with Hadrian’s Wall Path – National Trails (Hadrian’s Wall Heritage Ltd) to create an accessible trail to complement the existing walking and cycling paths – and leave a lasting legacy of the walk.
David McGlade, National Trail Officer at Hadrian’s Wall heritage Ltd, said: “We are delighted to have had an opportunity to assist in the coordination of this exciting journey. The Red Wheelies’ route combines sections of the Hadrian’s Cycleway Route 72 and the Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail, including many Roman Wall sites and some of the stunning view points along the wall.”
The Red Wheelies begin their journey on 11 May. To find out more and to make a donation, visit www.redwheelies.co.uk . People can also follow the ladies’ trials and tribulations onwww.twitter.com.
For further information on Quingo Mobility Vehicles, visit www.quingoscooters.com.