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22-year-old Edward (Ed to his friends) Common is currently completing the last year of his graphic design course at Northumbria University.
Ed was born with Muscular Dystrophy but he has refused to let that stop him doing the things he loves which includes football and for the last 10 years he has played powerchair football for Northern Thunder and been team captain since 2013. Ed has also played for England in the last 2 world cups
The one thing Ed always wanted to do but thought might not be possible was learning to drive but all that changed once he had spoken to Lewis Reed, one of the UK’s leading wheelchair accessible vehicle converters. “Lewis Reed had been incredibly helpful in the past when my parents purchased our first WAV family vehicle so I decided to speak to them about the possibility of having my own vehicle which I would be able to drive myself” commented Ed.
After talking to the team at Lewis Reed, Ed finally went for a VW Shuttle SE drive from vehicle and immediately started taking driving lessons. In April 2016 Ed passed his test and took to the open road and hasn’t looked back
“Being able to take myself to the cinema, shopping as well as visiting friends and family was just what I needed and to be able to do this without having to ask my parents to take me is just fantastic. I live on a farm which is quite remote and away from public transport so having my own vehicle provides me with the freedom and independence I didn’t have previously” continued Ed.
As Ed does not always undertake all the driving on longer journeys (some of his powerchair football matches can involve a trip lasting several hours), his vehicle features a passenger transfer seat which he can transfer into which rotates 180 degrees to enable Ed to easily transfer from his chair into the seat and still engage in conversation with the driver. This means he can still sit ‘up front’ while a removeable seat is placed into the driving position allowing his parents to drive. Ed enters and exits the vehicle from a ramp at the rear and then drives his powerchair into the driving position where he is secured using a lock and dock system he then drives the vehicle and operates all the controls using a specialist hand control system which allow him to drive safely and with confidence.
“Another great thing about my Lewis Reed vehicle is the space inside. When I am travelling to away games I am often away for the weekend so in addition to my football powerchair I also have to transport my hoist and various other pieces of medical equipment (as well and my parents!) and there is plenty of room for everything I need. Despite this, it is still small enough to be able to drive easily through towns and cities and park up” concluded Ed.
Ed’s VW Shuttle SE is equipped with four seating options and a host of features as standard. From BlueMotion start/stop technology, multi-functional display, fully adjustable driver and passenger seats to climate control, two side sliding doors and body coloured bumpers, door mirrors and handles the SE model is a great combination of the latest technology and comfort. There are also a host of safety features including ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution, stabilisation programme and differential lock.
Lewis Reed is one of only three official Volkswagen WAV converters in UK. For more information on the full range of wheelchair accessible vehicles available from Lewis Reed call 0151 343 5360 or browse our website. You can also follow Lewis Reed on Twitter @lewisreedgroup and facebook /lewisreedwavltd.
Should you be interested in learning more about how Lewis Reed can help you, please either give us a call on 0151 343 5360, or by filling in the contact form below.