Page 1



From IndyCar Champ to Paralympic Gold Ex-F1 and Indycar driver Alex Zanardi’s story of triumph over adversity - Page 12



Catch up with what’s been happening

06 THE PARALYMPICS Where and how it began



01_cover.indd 1

11 3 PEAKS CHALLENGE The GM team rises to the challenge

10/09/2012 21:43


MEET THE TEAM Gary Albinson Mobility Adaptations

Jan McCullar Receptionist

LIKES Everything in its place The 80’s love ballads

LIKES France My pussycats

DISLIKES Incompetence Sitting still

DISLIKES Cold weather Baked beans Lee Jones Minibus Sales Specialist

Lucy Duller Customer Liaison

LIKES My dog Rugby

LIKES Chicken and asparagus pie Sky diving

DISLIKES Hair shampoo My diary

DISLIKES Mushrooms Heavy metal music

Caoney Morgan Motability Sales Administrator

Tracey Bull Sales Support

LIKES Holidays Horse riding

LIKES Laughing Cats

DISLIKES Baked beans Rain

DISLIKES Rudeness Twiglets Roy Hayter Used Sales Specialist

Stephen Murphy Sales Manager

LIKES Skiing Motorsport

LIKES Cycling Chopping up wood

DISLIKES Water Cricket

DISLIKES Bad driving The rain

Agata Owston Minibus Sales Administrator

Simon Ballamy Motability Adviser

LIKES Chocolate Being pregnant

LIKES Steak Football

DISLIKES Cats Winter

DISLIKES Mustard Rain Paul Barber Minibus Sales Specialist LIKES Football Coastal walking

LIKES Eating out Huge DIY jobs

DISLIKES Boats Long distance driving

DISLIKES Olives Christmas

02 // PROACTIVE Summer 2012

02-03_Contents.indd 2

David Christie Motability Adviser

10/09/2012 21:56



News 04-05 // The Paralympics 06-07 // New adaptations 09 // Alex Zanardi 11 // 3 Peaks Challenge 12-13 // Your safety first 14






14 Mathew Smith, Editor

GM Coachwork Ltd, Teign Valley, Trusham, Newton Abbot, TQ13 0NX T: 01626 853050 E: PROACTIVE is published every quarter by GM Coachwork Ltd and distributed free of charge.

Copyright GMCoachwork Ltd. No reproducton without the publishers consent.

02-03_Contents.indd 3

DESIGNED BY youngstar* creative

PROACTIVE Summer 2012 // 03

10/09/2012 21:56


Get behind the wheel of a brand new Blaze NLY O M FRO

* 5 9 £5 The Citroen Berlingo Blaze is ideal for families because it offers seating for up to five including the wheelchair passenger. The Blaze features a Euro 5 compliant state-of-the-art 1.6 HDi diesel engine producing up to 90bhp.

THE best-selling Citroen Berlingo Blaze is now only £595 on Motability. The Blaze VTR comes with air conditioning, metallic paint, ABS with Electronic Brake Force Distribution, power assisted steering, CD player with MP3 capabilities and multi function

on-board trip computer as standard. Our renowned engineering skills have been applied to the full on the Blaze to produce a practical, easy to use wheelchair accessible vehicle which is equally at home around town or on longer journeys.

* £595 applies until 30 September. From October 1st advance payment is £995

Thank you for our minibus!

Hi Paul & Tracey


Just to express ou r thanks for the ex cellent minibus yo provided for the M u have ulberry Centre in Chester. Everyone with it. In particu is very pleased lar thanks for the rapid turnaround seats... an excelle to modify the nt service. I attach a photog raph taken at the recent presentatio the bus by the Fr n of iends of Mulberr y charity that raised the fu nding for this project. It shows a small group of service users at the front, some of the Mulbe rry staff in the middle row and th e Trustees of the charity at the rear. Regards Fred Dixon, Hon.Treasurer, Fr iends

of Mulberry.

04 // PROACTIVE Summer 2012

04-05_FT_NEWS.indd 12

Call now on 0800 3169327 and speak to Simon




Change the way you drive Thanks to the latest generation of electronic controls driving your car has just been made easier. Lighter to operate and easier to use our new range will take the strain out of driving. We have over ring accelerators, thumb controlled accelerators, finger controlled clutchs system, trigger accelerators and a whole lot more. See page 9 for details. CALL GARY ON 0845 0760964 FOR DETAILS

12/09/2012 20:57

We did it!

BERLINGO SCORES HIGHLY ON RELIABILITY INDEX The Citroen Berlingo has scored a very impressive 43 in the Warraty Direct Reliability Index. The higher the Reliability Index score, the worse the car is - the lower the score, the better.

A team headed by GM’s Lee Jones and Paul Barber presented a cheque for £3400 to Hemi-Help which was raised from the 3 Peaks Challenge.


The Reliability Index figure is calculated as a combination of the number of times a car fails, the cost of repairing it, the average amount of time it spends off the road due to repairs and the average age and mileage of the vehicles that are on Warranty Directs’ books. As a guideline, the average score is 100. This score puts the Citroen in the top 20% of most reliable cars in the UK.

Blazing a trail to greater mobility DARREN Robinson and his son Albert are delighted with the independence they now have thanks to their Citroen Berlingo Blaze. Danny and Albert from Canvey Island, Essex, took delivery of their nearly-new Blaze on the 24th of August. The Blaze is ideal for Albert as the lightweight ramp

is easy to lower and the low angle means getting Albert into the vehicle isn’t a problem. Nearly-new WAVS are available on Motability from as little as £150 representing a saving over the new price.

Warranty Direct, the company behind the Reliability Index, is able to reveal such valuable information because it pays out millions of pounds a year in car repair bills. The claims Warranty Direct handles provide the data that shows which cars are cheap to run and which are not.

For further information call free on 0800 316 9327 or email


04-05_FT_NEWS.indd 13

PROACTIVE Summer 2012 // 05

12/09/2012 20:57

FEature: Paralympics

What has a German neurologist and Stoke Mandeville Hospital got to do with the Paralympics? The Paralympics has been part of the Olympic Games for over 20 years but its origins go back to Stoke Mandeville Hospital and a certain German neurologist called Dr Guttmann.


he earliest recorded wheelchair games in the UK took place as part of the sports day, or gymkhana, for staff and patients held at the Royal Star and Garter home in Richmond, Surrey in 1923. Paraplegic ex-servicemen participated in an obstacle zig zag race on tricycle chairs and also competed at bowls. However, it was at Stoke Mandeville that the first established wheelchair games began. In 1943, Dr. Ludwig Guttmann was asked by the Government to establish a Spinal Injuries Unit at the Ministry of Pensions Hospital at Stoke Mandeville in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. The unit was intended to treat soldiers and civilians injured during World War II.

06 // PROACTIVE Summer 2012

06-07_FT_Paraylmpics.indd 12

As part of his treatment for the injured veterans, Guttmann promoted different methods of rehabilitation, including sport. The first sport was a hybrid form of wheelchair polo and hockey, first played informally on the ward against the physiotherapists and then developed into a proper team game.

On 29th July 1948, Guttmann organised an archery demonstration to coincide with the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games’

On 29th July 1948, Guttmann organised an archery demonstration to coincide with the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games. For this demonstration, sixteen patients (fourteen men and two women) from Stoke Mandeville and the Star and Garter Home for Injured War Veterans at Richmond in Surrey (where a special paraplegic ward had been established in conjunction with Guttmann) competed against each other for a Challenge Shield. Following the success of the event, Guttmann decided to make an annual spectacle of the ‘Grand Festival of Paraplegic Sport’ which soon became the Stoke Mandeville Games. Successive Games added more teams and more sports; in 1949 six teams competed and ‘wheelchair

12/09/2012 21:04

WELL DONE TEAM GB how truly remarkable are our paralymipc athletes. team GB finished 3rd with a total of 120 medals.

netball’ (later wheelchair basketball) was introduced. Guttmann’s creation of the Stoke Mandeville Games in 1948 was the moment that the Paralympic movement was born. Since then, the Games gained the official title of the Paralympic Games and were staged to coincide with the Olympic Games in Rome and Tokyo. Now, the Paralympic Games always happen in the same year as the Olympic Games, but it is only since 1988 that they have also used the same venues, such as stadia and other facilities. Given the wide variety of disabilities that Paralympic athletes have, there are several categories in which the athletes compete. The allowable disabilities are

The archery demonstration team, 1948.

broken down into six broad categories. The categories are amputee, cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, wheelchair, visually impaired, and Les Autres (literally “The Others”, which are athletes with disabilities that do not fall into the other five categories; these include dwarfism, multiple sclerosis, and congenital disorders). These categories are further broken down into classifications, which vary from sport

the Paralympic Games is the world’s second largest major international multi-sport event

Dr Guttmann organised an archery demonstration to coincide with the 1948 London Olympic Games

06-07_FT_Paraylmpics.indd 13

to sport. The classification system has led to cheating controversies revolving around athletes who over-stated their disabilities, in addition to the use of performance-enhancing drugs seen in other events. In 2000, during the Sydney Games, the relationship between the International Paralympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee was further strengthened by the signing of a memorandum of understanding and later the signing of a cooperative agreement. Since then the parallel relationship of the two organisations has resulted in the two largest sporting spectacles on earth being organised closely together. Today, the Paralympic Games is the world’s second largest major international multi-sport event, involving athletes with a range of physical and intellectual disabilities, including mobility disabilities, amputations, blindness, and cerebral palsy. There are Winter and Summer Paralympic Games, which since the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul, South Korea, are held immediately following the respective Olympic Games. The Paralympic Games have come a long way since their origins at Stoke Mandeville in 1948. The last Summer Games in 2008 in Beijing hosted 146 countries made up of 3951 athletes showing that the movement has gone a significant distance towards realising Ludwig Guttmann’s vision of a global competition where disabled athletes could compete on a level with their nondisabled counterparts.

PROACTIVE Summer 2012 // 07

12/09/2012 21:04



Citroen Berlingo Blaze

Citroen Berlingo Duo

Wheelchair access vehicle Over 58 mpg Seats 4 plus wheelchair passenger

Drive-from wheelchair Optional rear two seat bench interchangeable driver and passenger seats

Peugeot Partner Blaze Auto 6 speed semi-automatic Over 58 mpg Fully automatic and paddle lever gearchange

Peugeot Expert Montana Seats seven plus one wheelchair

Volkswagen Colorado Drive from wheelchair

Side access

08 // PROACTIVE Summer 2012

08-09_FT_Adaptions.indd 8

Peugeot Expert Flare Flat floor throughout Available as up-front passenger Choice of short or long wheelbase

Volkswagen Monterey Flagship of the WAV range

Volkswagen Nevada Drive from wheelchair

Rear access

Peugeot Boxer Utah Accommodates multiple wheelchairs

Volkswagen Vermont Drive from wheelchair

Rear access

13/09/2012 21:21

FEATURE: Adaptations

Change the way you drive Our Adaptations Adviser Gary Albinson guides you through the latest lightweight electronic controls.


The Ghost accelerator The Ghost is another ring that sits behind your steering wheel to control acceleration. Extremely light to use simply use your finger tips to rotate the ring to accelerate. The Ghost can be used in conjunction with a mechanical brake.

Tetraplegia/Quad Light System An electronic system where you rotate the handle in a downward radial motion to accelerate and simply push the lever forward to brake. It features a fully electronic accelerator which is very light to use. This system is used with a mechanical braking system.

Voice operated secondary controls The next generation of voice controls looks after the indicators, lights, main beam, radio, windows and any ancillary functions.

The Radial Accelerator Easy to use, simply rotate the lever to accelerate and push forward to brake. Available in electronic or fully mechanical specifications.

Electronic overring accelerator Simply apply gentle pressure to the ring to increase or decrease acceleration. The overring can be used in conjunction with a mechanical push brake.

The F1 Accelerator/Brake The F1 is a floor mounted system which works the same way as a traditional push pull hand control. Designed to be operated with the left hand you pull back to accelerate and push forward to brake.

Trigger Accelerator Mounted on the steering column the trigger controlled accelerator just needs the squeeze of the trigger to accelerate and then push away to brake. Very light to the touch. It also features a combined hill hold function.

The Duck clutch system The Duck is a finger controlled clutch. Simply depress the button on the gear lever to engage the clutch. Small, compact and light to use, the Duck’s technology makes operating the clutch easier than it has ever been.

Wireless satellite accelerator control This latest generation handset is totally wireless, letting you control acceleration with your thumb. The device simply straps to your hand giving you total control.

echnology never stands still. And in the world of adaptations it’s the same. The industry is always looking for developments and improvements. The latest generation of electronic controls will make driving your car easier. Lighter to operate and easier to use our new range will take the strain out of driving. The Cursor - electronic, thumb controlled accelerator The Cursor sits in the palm of your hand and is very light to use. Attached to the dashboard it is designed to be operated by your thumb as a stand-alone device or in conjunction with a steering ball or mechanical push brake. A neat and tidy installation which is finger-touch light.

Floor mounted brake with electronic trigger accelerator Mounted on the transmission tunnel simply use your finger to rock the lever to accelerate the vehicle .

For more information call Gary Albinson on 01626 853050 or email

08-09_FT_Adaptions.indd 9

PROACTIVE Summer 2012 // 09

13/09/2012 21:21

Used_Page_Summer_Layout 1 22/08/2012 12:48 Page 1 Used_Page_spring_Layout 1 28/03/2012 11:57 Page 1

Used_Page_spring_Layout 1 28/03/2012 11:57 Page 1



2005 CITROEN BERLINGO 2005 CITROEN BERLINGO petrol, 2 owners, 37,000miles, miles, 1.41.4 petrol, 2 owners, 38,000 lightweight ramp, lowered floor, lightweight ramp, lowered floor, 2005 CITROEN BERLINGO rear saloon seat (J12597) oneone rear saloon seat (J13255)

1.4 petrol, 2 owners, 37,000 miles,

00 ramp, lowered floor, lightweight 45 ,9 £7£,34 one rear saloon seat (J12597) 0


,99955 ££192,9


5 £12,99

5 £36,99

2008 2007CITROEN CITROENC8 C8CIRRUS AUTO 17,000 rear saloon 35,000 miles, miles,auto, auto,2electric seats, gooddoor, spec,lowered full widthfloor, ramp, powered 2008 C8seats CIRRUS lowered floor, (J12589) threeCITROEN rear saloon (J12365) 17,000 miles, auto, 2 rear saloon 9 seats, spec, 5 full width ramp, 0good 95 12 8floor, £1 ,,4 £ lowered (J12589)

2003 VW CARAVELLE COLORADO 2008 VW CARAVELLE COLORADO DRIVE-FROM WHEELCHAIR DRIVE-FROM WHEELCHAIR 130bhp TDI, auto, only 9000 miles, ourour 130bhp TDI, auto, only 9000 miles, own low floor conversion. SaveSave overnearly own low floor conversion. 2003 VW CARAVELLE COLORADO £10k onon new (J11962) £10k new price (J11962) DRIVE-FROM WHEELCHAIR 130bhp TDI,0 auto, only 9000 miles, our 000 ,2,floor 7low own conversion. Save over ££ 2 7 £10k on new (J11962)

5 £10,49


2010 CITROEN BERLINGO 2007 RENAULT MASTER 1.6 HDI, our demonstrator, 2.5DTi, 21000 miles, 6 speed lightweight ramp, lowered floor, 2010 CITROEN BERLINGO manual, one removable rear seat, one rear saloon seat (J10193) 1.6 our demonstrator, air HDI, conditioning, twin side doors lightweight (J13398) ramp, lowered floor, one rear saloon seat (J10193)

2008 RENAULT KANGOO 2008miles, RENAULT KANGOO 38,000 lightweight ramp, 38,000 lightweight ramp, low floor,miles, one rear saloon seat, 2008 lowRENAULT floor, one KANGOO rear saloon seat, (J11823) 38,000 miles, lightweight ramp, (J11823) low floor, one rear saloon seat, (J11823)



95 ,9,95 63 33 ££

5 ££66,,99995

2007FIAT FIATDOBLO DOBLO 2007 1.4petrol, petrol,twin twinsliding sliding doors, doors, 1.4 loweredfloor, floor, lightweight lightweight ramp, ramp, lowered 2007 FIAT DOBLO air con, onerear rearseat seat (J11124) (J11124) air con, one

1.4 petrol, twin sliding doors, lowered floor, ,499 55 lightweight ramp, 13,9 air1con, one rear seat (J11124) ££1

5 £13,49

2003 MERCEDES VANEO 2010 PEUGEOT EXPERT 2003 VANEO PEUGEOT EXPERT 1.6 MERCEDES petrol, 57000 miles, lightweight 2009 TEEPEE 1.6HDi, lowered floor, 1.6ramp, petrol, 57000 lightweight TEEPEE 1.6HDi, lowered floor, low floor,miles, one rear saloon lightweight ramp, 27000 miles, one 2003 MERCEDES ramp, low floor, one rearVANEO saloon 2010 PEUGEOT EXPERT lightweight ramp, miles, two seats (J11088) rear saloon seat, 13000 twin front petrol, 57000 miles, lightweight rear TEEPEE 1.6HDi, lowered seats1.6 (J11088) saloonseat seats, twin frontfloor, passenger (J12347) ramp, low floor, one rear saloon lightweight ramp, 27000 miles, one passenger seat (J13431)


seats (J11088) rear saloon seat, twin front WHEELCHAIR ACCESS VEHICLES passenger seat (J12347) WHEELCHAIR ACCESS VEHICLES 2009 CITROEN C8 2.0 HDi, 11000 miles, manual, lightweight ramp, 2 rear seats, (J12268) 2006 FIATCITROEN DOBLO BERLINGO HIGHACCESS ROOFBLAZE 1.3VEHICLES multijet diesel, 32000 manual, seats (J12206) WHEELCHAIR 2010 1.6 HDi, 38000 miles,miles, manual, 2 rear4 seats (J10193)

£15,995 £6,995 £10,495

2009 CITROEN C8HIGH 2.0 COMBI HDi, 11000 miles,diesel, manual, lightweight ramp, 2 rear seats,(J13430 (J12268) 2009 CITROEN DISPATCH 1.6 multijet HDI 12000 miles, manual, 4 4seats 2006 FIAT DOBLO ROOF 1.3 diesel, 32000 miles, manual, seats (J12206)

£15,995 £9,995 £6,995 2010 CITROEN BERLINGO BLAZE 1.6 HDi, 38000 miles, manual, 2 rear seats (J10193) £10,495 2004 1.6 petrol, 15000 auto,4one saloon seat, two side doors ( J8240) £5,500 2004 FIATRENAULT DUCATOKANGOO 2.0 TD diesel, 67000 miles,miles, manual, seatsrear (J11193) £5,750 2006RENAULT FIAT DOBLO HIGH2.5DCi, ROOF 1.3 multijet diesel, 32000 miles,full manual, seats (J12206) 2006 MASTER 38000 miles, manual, 5 seats, width4lightweight ramp (J11602) £6,995 £8,750

2005 RENAULT KANGOO 1.6 petrol, 50000 miles, automatic, 4 seats (J13463) 2004TOYOTA RENAULT KANGOO 1.6 petrol, 15000 auto, one rear saloon seat, two side doors ( J8240) 2005 HI-ACE 2.5 diesel, 58000 miles.miles, 4 seats, manual. (J11964) 2004 2006 TOYOTA PREVIAMASTER 2.4 petrol, 48000 miles, automatic, seatsfull (J13253) RENAULT 2.5DCi, 38000 miles, manual, 54seats, width lightweight ramp (J11602) FIAT TOYOTA DOBLO HI-ACE 1.3 TD 2.5 diesel, 64000 miles, manual, seats (J12863) 2005 2005 diesel, 58000 miles. 4 seats,4manual. (J11964) DRIVE-FROM WHEELCHAIR VEHICLES 2009 CITROEN C8 2.0 HDi diesel, 13000 speed manual, 4 seats J11848) 2010 VW CARAVELLE COLORADO Lowmiles, floor 6 conversion, side lift, 9000 (miles, (J11962)

DRIVE-FROM WHEELCHAIR MERCEDES SPRINTER 2.2TDi, 4 VEHICLES seats, remote operated tailgate and ramp (J11852) 2009 2010 VW CARAVELLE COLORADO Low floor conversion, side lift, 9000 miles, (J11962) 2007 RENAULT MASTER 2.5TDi, auto, 4 seats, remote rear door and Ricon lift (J11653) DRIVE-FROM WHEELCHAIR VEHICLES 2009 MERCEDES SPRINTER 2.2TDi, 4 seats, remote operated tailgate and ramp (J11852) 2008 RENAULT KANGOO 1.6 petrol, 3000 miles, auto, remote tailgate and ramp (J10670) 20082007 VW CARAVELLE COLORADO conversion, sidedoor lift, 9000 miles,lift(J11962) RENAULT MASTER 2.5TDi,Low auto,floor 4 seats, remote rear and Ricon (J11653) 20082008 RENAULT KANGOO 1.6 petrol, 41000 miles, auto, remote tailgate and ramp (J13377) RENAULT KANGOO 1.6 petrol, 3000 miles, auto, remote tailgate and ramp (J10670)

All used vehicles are fully serviced with at least 9 months MOT and with a fullare mechanical and wheelchair equipment safety check Allcome used vehicles fully MOT and All used vehicles are fullyserviced servicedwith withatatleast least 99 months months MOT and OVER 40 VEHICLES IN STOCK OPEN 6 DAYS A WEEK come with a full mechanical safety check check come with a full mechanicaland andwheelchair wheelchairequipment equipment safety


£5,500 £6,500 £6,995 £8,750

£3,995 £6,500



SPRINTER 2007 RENAULT 2009 MERCEDES DRIVE-FROM MASTER 2.5 DTI £21,995 SPRINTER 2.2HDI, 19000 miles, 34000 miles, 6 speed £36,995 DRIVE-FROM £15,995 remote rear lift, side manual, 319000 rear seats and twin £21,995 2.2HDI, miles, £14,995 door. Great value £33,995 front seats, electric winch, air £15,995 remote rear lift, side conditioning (J13397) £8,495 Our stock is £14,995 door. Great value changing all the £16,995 £36,995

time sostock if youis Our Our stock is can’t find what changing changing all all thethe your looking for time so if time so if youyou give mefind a call. can’t what can’t find what your looking your looking for for give a call. give meme a call.


TELEPHONE 0845 076 0963 or visit TELEPHONE 0845 076 0963 TELEPHONE 0845 076 0963 or visit or visit

10-11_FT_Zanardi.indd 10

12/09/2012 21:22

ACTIVE: Alex Zanardi

From IndyCar Champ to Paralympic Gold Ex-F1 and Indycar driver Alex Zanardi’s story of how his life at the pinnacle of motorsport was cut short by an horrific accident is a true reminder to us all of courage and determination.


lex Zanardi will be a familiar name both to F1 fans and followers of the Paralympics. The 45 year old’s story, although harrowing, is a perfect example of triumph over diversity. Zanardi used to be a Formula One driver who struggled for success, before going across the pond to the US to drive in the Indycar series. Here he won two titles during the late 1990s until an horrific crash resulted in the amputation of both of his legs below the knee. Doctors at the scene claimed he had lost three quarters of his blood. In hospital he was read his last rites three times. His will to live kept him alive against the odds and he was fitted with two prosthetic limbs marking the beginning of an ambitious rehabilitation program. Dissatisfied with the limitations of legs available commercially, Zanardi designed and built his own bespoke legs, to allow him to compare the weight and stiffness of various feet in order to find the most suitable for racing. In 2002, CART (the

10-11_FT_Zanardi.indd 11

US Indycar series) honoured Zanardi by giving him the privilege of waving the chequered flag in Toronto. By 2003 Zanardi was not only back behind the wheel, he was also racing again with the aid of hand-operated brake and accelerator controls. He completed the final thirteen laps at the race track which had nearly killed him in 2001, and did so at highly competitive speeds approaching 310 km/h (193 mph). In fact, had he been qualifying for the race that weekend, he would have been fifth. It was a fitting testament to his recovery and persuaded him that a race return was something to pursue. He went on to race in the European Touring Cars championship driving an adapted car and foraged in other areas of motosport including developing his own kart chassis. Switching sports, Zanardi took up competing in handbiking, a form of paralympic cycling, with the stated goal of representing Italy at the 2012 Summer Paralympics. In September 2011, Zanardi won his first senior international handbiking medal, the silver medal in the H4 (Handbike)

category time trial at the UCI World Road Para-Cycling Championships. In September 2012 he won a gold medal at the London Paralympics in the Individual H4 time trial. His average speed was 24 miles per hour — he described it as “a great accomplishment, one of the greatest” of his life. “With an engine pushing me, I didn’t realise it (the Brands Hatch circuit) was so hilly. It is very hard but if I had to design a course, this is what I would have done,” he added. Zanardi’s success at the Paralympics touched the hearts of many. His accident, comeback and gold medal achievement shows character, strength and determination. It also sends a message to us all about human nature. There are few stories like his around but without taking away the amazing feat of winning a gold medal, his own personal achievement is even more courageous.

PROACTIVE Summer 2012 //11

12/09/2012 21:26


3 MOUNTAINS, 10,000FT, 2 GM’s Paul Barber and Lee Jones came up with the idea to replicate the infamous 3 peaks Challenge. The goal was simple. To climb Ben Nevis, Sca Fell Pike and Snowdonia within 24 hours to raise money for Hemi Help - a UK-based charity for people with hemiplegia.


he challenge was relatively straightforward but it sounded daunting. To climb and descend three mountains in a 24 hour period. A GM Coachwork Minibus Lite would be on hand to transfer the weary climbers between the mountains, kicking off at Ben Nevis in Scotland. A late afternoon start would get proceedings underway as the climbers faced the first climb of 4,400 ft - a gentle introduction to the next 24 hours.

Paul commented “The biggest surprise was the number of people we met on the way up. You’d think you’d be virtually alone but we weren’t. On each climb we were among other groups and individuals all doing the same thing.” Lee added “The physical and mental demands could not have been underestimated. The descent was more of a strain than the climb, as your legs were taking your body weight as you descended the mountain. And no matter how many

clothes we took, we always felt we could have done with more. At altitude the cold pearced through you and we all felt it to the core. All three summits were stark, misty and very cold. At the end of each climb the minibus would pick us up giving us the chance of a few hours sleep as it drove us onto the next ascent.” In all, the team climbed over 10,000 ft in the 24 hour period and raised over £3500 for Hemi Help. And to cap it all off, they’re thinking of doing it again next year!



7.39pm: We’e made it! GM’s Paul Barber at the summit of Ben Nevis. One down, two to go.

7.46am: Phew…made it. There wasn’t any time to eat so we just snacked on dried fruit, berries and anything high in protein


8.34pm: The long descent down Ben Nevis for GM’s Lee Jones. Coming down the mountain was more of a strain on your legs than the climb.

DAY 1 BEN NEVIS 4.46pm: At the foot of Ben Nevis, all set to go. We didn’t know just how cold we were going to be

12 // PROACTIVE Summer 2012

12-13_FT_3 Peaks Challenge.indd 12

DAY 2 SCA FELL PIKE 4.45am: A grey morning and an early start. Oh, and its raining as well.

12/09/2012 21:32

, 24 HOURS FACTS Ben Nevis 4,409 ft Sca Fell Pike 3,209 ft Snowdown 3,560 ft

DAY 3 SNOWDON 3.00pm: Done it! We’ve reached the summit, our third in 24 hours.

on mo pe life ex

DAY 3 SNOWDON 3.00pm: The final challenge… Snowdon. By now, we’re all feeling quite exhausted. It’s 3 o clock in the afternoon on the final day.

12-13_FT_3 Peaks Challenge.indd 13

PROACTIVE Summer 2012 // 13

12/09/2012 21:33

FEATURE: Publicly Available Specification

Your safety first PAS – three letters that help to put your safety first, and helps us ensure best practice design, safety and structural integrity.


hatPutting your safety first is our priority. Behind the scenes GM is working hard to develop and design wheelchair vehicles that offer a better and safer environment for the wheelchair passenger. One project that GM and WAVCA have been working on is called PAS2012.

What is PAS? PAS stands for Publicly Available Specification. Launched in April


14 // PROACTIVE Summer 2012

14-15_FT_PAS.indd 10

this year, PAS2012 is measures breadth and an accreditation for height of your field of vision wheelchair vehicles that when in your wheelchair. vehicle convertors, will This helps convertors make have to achieve on all sure their design offers new models launched optimum visibility for the from September 2012. wheelchair passenger. It has been drawn up by Norman will measure how the British Standards easy you can alight, how WAVCA is the trade Institute in conjunction easy it is to access the association of UK with WAVCA. PAS vehicle using the ramp, the wheelchair accessible is a stepping stone amount of space within the vehicle manufacturers towards achieving a BSI vehicle and the passengers and convertors. recognition. A vehicle vision outwards. which has achieved accreditation has met the requirements How will I benefit from this? of the PAS2012. The idea behind the PAS is to offer clarity for potential customers. It is an honest and fair way to describe What does it do? measurements to the customer. PAS2012 measures and compares All new WAV models launched with the space within the vehicle for the Motability after September 2012 will wheelchair passenger. It does this with have to meet PAS2012 standards. PAS a device that has been named, quite will be policed by the VCA who will simply, Norman. produce a report for accreditation. What this gives you is peace of What is Norman? mind that your WAV now has been Norman is a measuring gauge which designed to meet exacting new measures length, width and height of standards with the needs of the the wheelchair space, ramp angle, and the wheelchair passengers height. “He” wheelchair passengers at the heart of the design. is also fitted with a laser beam which

13/09/2012 21:50


Ty pe




pp ro ve d



The lightweight minibus you can drive on an ordinary car licence*

The light on a

•No D1 licence required* •Choice of five specifications •Removable seats and luggage space •Wide range of wheelchair accessible options •16 or 17 M2 tested seats, 3 point seatbelts and fully carpeted interior

• No D1 licence required* •Choice of five specificat • Removable seats and luggag • Wide range of wheelch 17 M2 tested seats, 3 •16 orGreater Mobility


CALL TO CALL TODAY 0845 0760961 or visit

or visit

* see for full details on * see for full details on licence eligibility. Conditions apply. MinibusLite 16 seater can be driven under a Section 19 permit (and without a D1 licence) if the driver is over 21 y without a D1 licence) if the driver is over 21 years of age; has held a category B licence for at least 2 years; receives no payment for driving the vehicle; and the vehicle has a gross weight not exceedi and the vehicle has a gross weight not exceeding 3.5 tonnes. Full details available from GM Coachwork Ltd

14-15_FT_PAS.indd 11 GM Mini bus lite A4 AD3.indd 1

GM Mini bus lite A4 AD3.indd 1

13/09/2012 24/10/2011 21:50 23:26

Luxury as standard

Volkswagen Caravelle MONTEREY Luxury Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

Drive from wheelchair vehicles giving you total independence

Volkswagen Caravelle NEVADA

Volkswagen Caravelle COLORADO

Rear access Remote operated tailgate and ramp Rear lowering suspension Lowered floor Class leading access height 59�

Side access Remote operated doors and lift Optional air levelling suspension Lowered floor Three seat rear bench

Volkswagen Caravelle VERMONT Rear access Remote operated tailgate and lift Levelled floor Travel as up front passenger

Call 0845 0760962 01_cover.indd 16 GM Classy AD_A4_V3.indd 1

10/09/2012 21:39 21:43 10/09/2012

ProActive Summer 2012  

Summer 2012

ProActive Summer 2012  

Summer 2012