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Susan going places

/ November 2023
Susan Slade

This what our grant meant to Susan in her own words:

"My grant was for an Upwalker, which is a walking frame for tall people. It enables me to walk upright, looking up and ahead, surrounded by the walker frame which helps prevent me falling when I lose my balance. The walker is very sturdy and doesn’t topple when I wobble during walking. It also has a very comfy seat and backrest, which is extremely useful when I need to take rests, or even just sitting watching the world go past when I’m out.

I have used my Upwalker to see and go places that I would never have even attempted previously. It takes me a long time to walk to the location but half the joy is the journey and being out and about. Sometimes I have been over ambitious and not actually reached the destination before my pain levels have peaked, however it is still wonderful to see things along the way and chat to people.

A lot of people have shown interest in my new walker when I have been out. I’ve been able to tell them about the Upwalker, which will hopefully help them, but, most enjoyably for me, I have had folk to chat to!

My carer, who accompanies me on my trips out, tells people who stop and chat to me, that “it has changed her world”, and tells me privately that I am so much happier now (as, apparently, they were very concerned about my mental health previously).

They are right in that it has changed my world in being able to get out more, and take trips I’d never have been able to undertake before. I still can’t walk miles but that is due to spinal issues and pain. However, I can now walk, with sitting on the seat along the way, for about a mile. This has been great exercise!

I have walked to the end of Eastbourne pier and back; have walked around Lynmouth for my 60th birthday and even had a trip on the funicular; had a trip to Lydd, walked some of the high street and had afternoon tea; walked down the path alongside the Chine in Shanklin on a day trip to scatter my Mum’s ashes. These are all things that would have been physically impossible for me to achieve before I had my Upwalker.

The Upwalker has made such a difference to my mobility and life, and I am so grateful to Barchester’s Charitable Foundation for their help and kindness. Thank you."

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