Friday, 14 May 2021



THE coronavirus pandemic hasn’t stopped the volunteer MakeAbility engineers from making equipment and gadgets for people with disabilities or special needs.

Among the projects recently completed locally by the Remap Berkshire, a charity, are:

Specially-padded bathroom steps to help a six-year-old with the rare RERE Syndrome get in and out of the bath.

A long-reach window-opener for a woman who finds it impossible to stretch up.

Wooden extensions to the legs of a dining table so a wheelchair user can sit comfortably close.

Conversion of the wheels on a walker to allow it to be used on soft ground.

The 25 volunteer engineers at Remap enjoy using their skills to create custom-made equipment and gadgets for people who have disabilities or special needs and cannot find anything suitable to buy. This service is entirely free.

They have a wide variety of expertise between them, ranging from IT and electronics to metalwork, carpentry and 3D-printing — the list is endless.

The engineers often work alongside health professionals such as occupational therapists, physiotherapists, doctors or special educational needs staff to make sure that the equipment provided safely meets individual situations. Remap has assisted people in all age groups with a wide variety of issues.

Some MakeAbility projects are simple, others extremely challenging, but all can make a real difference to the recipient’s quality of life. Each piece of equipment is tailor-made to suit specific needs. Many of the materials used are recycled but some have to be bought using funds kindly contributed from sources including charitable foundations, Rotary clubs and community groups.

Although no charge is made to users, many are so pleased with the service that they choose to make a donation to facilitate projects for others. The MakeAbility service has continued throughout the pandemic, with all necessary precautions being taken.

Remap Berkshire, which serves the Henley Standard circulation area, is one of 70 MakeAbility groups spread across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The charity (reg. no. 1137666) was founded in 1965 and assists around 3,000 people every year.

You can contact Remap Berkshire in complete confidence by calling 07790 127123 or emailing berks.caseofficer@

For more information, visit

To find out more about volunteering with Remap, visit

Kimble Earl

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