Mobility / Transport

AFK Charity

Specialist mobility equipment suppliers

Celebrating their 30th birthday in 2022, AFK supply specialist mobility equipment that isn't available on the NHS for children and young people up to their 25 birthday. Equipment they can supply includes wheelchairs, buggies, walkers, mobile hoists, power packs (to add power to a manual wheelchair), car seats and harnesses etc. They can also offer help and support with life and work skills.


https://www.afkcharity.org/

Blue Badge Parking In Europe

Provides grants for hearing impaired young people

If you're thinking of using your Blue Badge in Europe, this site provides am explanation sheet to help local authorities recognise your badge, translated into many languages, to display next to your blue badge:


https://www.icarhireinsurance.com/disabled-driving-in-europe

Caudwell Children's Charity

Grants and support for disabled and autistic children

Is a national charity based in Staffordshire “at our state of the art facilities which are dedicated to improving the lives of disabled and autistic children”. They offer Autism Assessments, Occupational Therapy, Equipment, Sensory Packs and various other forms of support. For families with a household income of under £45,000 they can fund up to 80% of the costs for the assistance they provide.


https://www.caudwellchildren.com/


They also provide funding towards life-changing equipment for children with a wide range of disabilities or chronic conditions. They can provide upto 80% of the cost of therapy tricycles, sensory equipment, sports equipment, car sears, car harnesses, buggies and powered wheelchairs.


https://www.caudwellchildren.com/services/equipment/

Demand

Disability equipment advice, supply and adaptation

As well as advising people with disabilities on the best equipment to suit their needs, Demand also design and manufacture from scratch & modify and enhance people's existing equipment to help it work better for them.


They help people of any age, and with any kind of disability regardless of their financial circumstance.


https://www.demand.org.uk/

Designability

Specialist powered wheelchair loan scheme

Designability's main product is the Wizzybug powered indoor / outdoor wheelchair, which is designed for preschool children aged from 14 months. These are available to purchase, but they also operate a free loan scheme for families in the UK. In addition to this their website also features some other products designed to make disabled people's lives easier.


https://designability.org.uk/

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Benefit for children with higher than average care needs

DLA (Disability Living Allowance) is a benefit available to children under the age of 16. It pays from £24.45 to £156.90 a week and is dependent on the level of help the child needs. It is not means tested, which means you can claim regardless of what your income is. You don't need diagnoses to claim DLA, it's based on your child's needs (but obviously the more evidence you have the more it will help your claim).


DLA is divided into two components, one based on the level of care the child needs (Care Component) and the other on the mobility needs of the child (Mobility Component). The mobility component is only available to children aged 3 and over (ages 3 to 4 can only be awarded high rate mobility). For those aged under 3 with the highest needs, you can apply for a discretionary grant from the Family Fund Motability Scheme to lease a vehicle through the Motability scheme.


https://www.familyfund.org.uk/mobilitysupport


DLA applications can be a long process and people often find that they are rejected or awarded a lower level than they feel they deserve following their initial application. Please see my DLA page for more information, particularly if you're considering trying to get High Rate Mobility under Virtually Unable to Walk (VUW) or Severe Mental Impairment (SMI) criteria.


DLA Website:

https://www.gov.uk/disability-living-allowance-children

Eligibility criteria can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/disability-living-allowance-children/eligibility

Claims Form and Guidance notes:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/disability-living-allowance-for-children-claim-form


In Scotland you get a Child Disability Payment instead of DLA, but it's much the same thing:

https://www.mygov.scot/child-disability-payment


For more information see:

https://sites.google.com/u/0/d/1dIS3e3C6x_XvcPdFV4yvpftxAtNgWTXQ/p/1ztA0L1yfYwUlawNZiDsSrlsv-MiwBZvc/preview

Disabled Blue Badge

Accessing disabled parking

These are available to more people than you might think. Eligibility is not only for those who cannot walk or have difficulty walking, but you could also be entitled to one should your child have behavioural difficulties due to for example being Autistic or having a developmental delay and being unaware of danger around them, or if they need to be near your vehicle when out due to a health condition. If your child receives the high rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance they'll automatically be entitled to a Blue Badge.


https://www.gov.uk/apply-blue-badge


For general regulations about where you can park using your blue badge see:


https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-blue-badge-scheme-rights-and-responsibilities-in-england/the-blue-badge-scheme-rights-and-responsibilities-in-england


Blue Badges offer a number of advantages in addition to being able to park in disabled parking bays, you'll be able to park in many paid for car parks for free (always check), not have to pay drop off charges at some airports, some areas you can park on double yellow lines and some ferry companies offer reduced price tickets for blue badge holders.


If you'll be driving in Central London, you can register so you don't have to pay the Congestion Charge (for a one off £10 fee) if you or your child have a Blue Badge.


https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/congestion-charge/discounts-and-exemptions?intcmp=2133


If you're thinking of using your Blue Badge in Europe, this site provides am explanation sheet to help local authorities recognise your badge, translated into many languages, to display next to your blue badge:


https://www.icarhireinsurance.com/disabled-driving-in-europe

Family Fund

Support for low income families raising disabled or seriously ill children

Is a charity that aims to improve the lives of low-income families raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people. They offer grants for short breaks, essential items and services (eg washing machines, toys, furniture, tablets / computers, bedding, clothing etc) and their website also has a series of guides on various types of support that is available.


To be able to apply for a grant you must meet certain criteria, which are basically that your child must have a high level of additional support needs arising from a long term disabling condition or a serious or life limiting illness and you must be in receipt of a means tested benefit (eg Universal Credit).


https://www.familyfund.org.uk/

Ferry Discounts With Blue Badge

A few ferry companies in the UK offer discounted fares to Blue Badge holders.


Caledonian MacBrayne offer 25% discount off the price of a vehicle ticket on their services to the Scottish Islands:

https://www.calmac.co.uk/article/5315/Do-you-offer-discounts-for-vehicles-of-Blue-Badge-Holders


Hover Travel offer discounted fares for carers, blue badge holders and those in receipt of DLA on their hovercraft services to the Isle of Wight:

https://www.hovertravel.co.uk/concessionary-fares


Red Funnel Ferries offer a 20% discount on their services between Southampton and the Isle of Wight:

https://www.redfunnel.co.uk/en/isle-of-wight-ferry/fares/ferry-passenger-fares-to-southampton/disabled-persons-discount/


Wight Link Ferries offer up to a 25% discount on tickets on their services to and from the Isle of Wight:

https://www.wightlink.co.uk/tickets/accessible-travel#disability-discounts

Free School Transport / Claim Mileage For Taking Your Child To School

If your child has an EHCP or Statement of Special Educational Needs and you live 2 or more miles away from their school if the child is under 8, or 3 or more miles away if your child is 8 or over, you should be entitled to be provided with free transportation for them to and from their school. For more information on eligibility see: https://www.ipsea.org.uk/pages/category/transport-to-school-or-college

https://www.ipsea.org.uk/News/home-to-school-transport-understanding-your-rights


Something that seems to be not so well known is that if you decline this offer and elect to take your child to and from school yourself, you are entitled to claim the return mileage from your house to the school twice a day (some authorities only seem to cover one return journey a day), for every day they have attended at a rate of 25p per mile.


Find details of how to apply through your local council here:

https://www.gov.uk/free-school-transport

https://www.gov.uk/apply-school-transport-for-child-with-special-educational-needs-sen

Meru Disability Equipment

Mobility and other assistive equipment for children

Meru is a charity that designs and builds assistive equipment for people with disabilities (primarily focussed on children). As well as mobility equipment they also do adapted toys, musical equipment, Ipad accessories etc They sell these to fund their main product which is the Bugzi, a powered indoor chair for 1 to 5 year olds. These are available to loan to families for free (as well as for sale).


https://www.merushop.org/

Mobility Trust

Powered wheelchairs and scooters

The Mobility Trust provides powered wheelchairs and scooters for UK residents who have severe disabilities and who cannot obtain such equipment through other means. They aim to reach and help people who, quite simply, have nowhere else to turn. They are the only UK charity that provides such broad support, regardless of age or cause of disabilities.


https://mobilitytrust.org.uk/

Motability Scheme

Car leasing scheme for those in receipt of Higher Rate DLA Mobility Element and grants

If you are awarded the High Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance, you have the option of using some or all of it to lease a car through the Motability scheme. The price of a lease is all inclusive (insurance, servicing, maintenance, breakdown cover, tyre replacement and windscreen repairs). If the car you require to meet your needs requires a deposit, they may be able to provide you with a grant to cover this cost depending on your circumstances.

For more details see: https://www.motability.co.uk/


They also offer some charitable grants for Cars and Adaptions, Wheelchair Accessibility, Complex Solutions, Driving Lessons, Additional Support, Access to Work, Stopped Allowances and Special Grants.

For details see: https://www.motability.org.uk/charitable-grants/

Remap

Custom made equipment to help disabled people live more independent lives

Remap design and custom-make equipment to help disabled people live more independent lives. This includes mobility, help in the home, managing personal care, enjoying sports and hobbies and much more. All their work is carried out and checked by expert engineers, carpenters, technicians and occupational therapists. They provide this help free of charge.


https://www.remap.org.uk/

Variety Children's Charity

Offer equipment grants, days out and run specialist hospitals

Variety provide practical help that makes an immediate difference to disabled and disadvantaged children and young people under the age of 19, allowing them to live their best lives. They offer equipment grants (including hoists, beds, car seats, sensory and play equipment, assistive and medical technologies) and wheelchairs for children. They also offer Sunshine Coaches to support transport needs of SEND Schools and other non-profit organisations and through Variety Great Days Out they provide day trips for children and young people. In addition to all of this they also run several specialist hospitals.


https://www.variety.org.uk/