Less than 12 months ago Andrew was working, enjoying his social life and doing the normal things that everyone at his age would be doing.

He experienced some health problems hurting his hand at work, unexplained falls and weaknesses on the right hand side of his body. He was seen by a neurologist and on returning home from that appointment his legs gave way outside his home. He was told he needed an operation on his vertebrae in his back and spent many months in hospital and a specialist spinal unit. He was given the devastating information that he was paralysed and was told his condition could show improvement over time but it’s not guaranteed. Now Andrew lives in a specialist flat adapted for his needs and uses a wheelchair to get about. He can’t walk; he can barely stand and regularly has temporary paralysis in his upper limbs.

Andrew first heard about Access Plymouth from his social worker and has been using the service for 3 months. He uses the Dial a Ride bus and Shopmobility scooter hire to go shopping, meet his friends, attend medical appointments and important meetings and to go to places like he used to.

Andrew says “the service is brilliant”. He was stuck in his flat 24/7 and because he only had a manual wheelchair he wasn’t able to push himself to the local shops or even to get out for fresh air. Andrew said “he meets new people on the bus and wouldn’t see anyone else if he didn’t use Access Plymouth”. Andrew also uses the Shopmobility scheme to hire an electric scooter to get around the city centre. Andrew comments “this service is fantastic, I can get on the bus and it takes me to [Access Plymouth] Shopmobility so I can hire a scooter and then go off around town”.