We can go anywhere we like, anytime we like
The Knight Family
Fred and Diane Knight have lived in Portsmouth for nearly 30 years. Their son Tim, who is now 21, has been in a wheelchair all his life. Disabled from birth Tim has various conditions such as brain damage, Spina Bifida, Downs Syndrome and Epilepsy. He is not able to walk and has difficulty in communicating; this means Tim is totally dependant on his parents for full-time care.
The Knight family have always enjoyed their independence and were lucky to have always had cars. As a young boy, Fred and Diane were easily able to transfer Tim into a standard vehicle, but as he grew older and heavier, they started to find the process more and more difficult. Diane recalled “we would still go out, but it required a lot of planning as the whole process was very time consuming”.
Fred and Diane realised that in order to maintain their independence as a family, they would need to consider a wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV). They first got a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle 5 years ago, but they found that they were lacking in space.
It was at an event where Fred and Diane spotted the Gowrings Mobilty VW Transporter. Diane commented “we saw the Transporter for the first time at the mobility roadshow. We were very impressed with it. It has so much room and so many seating options and [product] features such as the side step, which we really liked. We knew it was the car for us. We just had to save a bit more money because we bought the car privately”.
Dealing with Gowrings Mobility was very smooth and straight-forward. “I had no problems dealing with Gowrings Mobility”, Diane said. “I saw them at the roadshow, and then a nice man brought down to us a Transporter for a home demonstration. We also saw other cars, but liked Gowrings and the Transporter best”.
The Transporter is a bespoke car because it has many different product options that a customer can choose from and the Knight family were quite aware that they may need to wait a long time for delivery. Diane said “you can’t just get a WAV ‘off the shelf’, especially the larger vehicles. It takes a lot of planning, going on demonstrations and working out what is right for you”.
This is why she couldn’t believe their luck when her Mobility Advisor called to confirm that a Transporter had just become available and already had many of the features and options that they were after at a reasonable price and more importantly, ready for delivery! The colour wasn’t her first choice, but Diane said “it means I can find it easily in the car park!”
The Transporter turned out to be everything they needed as a family; with large internal space for Tim’s wheelchair and equipment, lowering suspension, 3 wheelchair positions and versatile seating options: fixed, removable and flip & fold seats.
The Knight family often have up to 6 passengers and Tim in his wheelchair. The side step has been very useful because it made it easy for grandparents to join in the family journeys. The removable seats go in or out depending on how many wheelchairs they take and they have plenty of space when they go on holidays.
Diane said “Tim loves the Transporter. He gets quite uneasy when stopping in other cars, but he is much happier in the Transporter. It made everyone’s life easier. We just wheel him in and out with no hassle”. Having a larger vehicle means they can all go out as a family, including Diane’s mum and Tim’s best friend, Andrew, who is also a wheelchair user. In fact, Tim and Andrew have already been together to the O2 Arena and Wembley Arena for shows.
Mandy, Andrew’s mum added “Andrew loves going out. Having the Transporter means that both boys can travel together in their wheelchairs and even sometimes Andrew’s sister, Rebecca, joins as well. They get on really well and have lots of giggles and fun in the car. Because I don’t drive, the Transporter makes it possible for the two families to go further afield together”.
“The Transporter is a lovely car to drive and is very nice inside” Diane concluded. “With the transporter we can go anywhere we like, anytime we like, taking additional people with us”.