Having short notice that I would be attending Comic-Con in Telford, you can imagine all the local hotels were booked solid. Having to look further afield, we settled on the Spread Eagle Inn in Gailey. Approx 20 mins from Telford city centre. We managed to book one of their accessible rooms. This is my honest review of our stay.
Spread Eagle Inn
As a full-time wheelchair user, I have to have a wheelchair accessible room when travelling. If I am unable to book an accessible room, then I simply can’t travel! Accessible rooms are far and few between so you have to book them very quickly. When we have taken a cruise holiday, we have to book almost 2 years in advance or you have no hope of booking one.
As you can imagine, ALL local hotels were fully booked so we had to look further out for an accessible room. We chose Spread Eagle (part of the Marston’s group) as we have stayed there once before. Although, I wish we hadn’t (more on that in a bit).
Spread Eagle has 4-5 disabled parking bays and a ramp-up to the main doors of the restaurant/reception. You book in at the desk by the side of the bar. To go to your room, you can travel down the ramp inside the restaurant and make your way to the side entrance where you walk/wheel over to the hotel building.
The hotel building has an automatic door entry that is operated by your room key card. You hold the card to the box at the side and the doors open. You do the same for the next door inside that leads to all the rooms. This door is very heavy, presumably a fire door. My accessible room was about two rooms on my left after entering. Again, the room door is operated by holding the card next to the electronic fob box. Your room door is also very heavy.
There’s literally nothing in the room apart from a bed, a small desk in the corner with a mirror above. There is a TV on the wall opposite the bed. You have what is meant to be hanging space beside the bed, again in the corner. The hangers are fixed in place. You have to unhook the pin from the part of the hanger that slides on the rail. From a wheelchair user’s perspective, I feel it is unusable. The hangers are very high and very fiddly to use. My suggestion is to bring your own hangers. If you are able to reach up to high places, you may be able to use it. There are a couple of shelves below but really not enough for two people if staying more than a night or two.
There is a tea/coffee facility available in the room by the means of a kettle and sachets. Only full-fat milk is provided in the room though. You can ask at the bar for semi-skimmed milk which they can provide. You only get provided with two tea bags. We had a cup of tea before going to bed on the day we arrived but didn’t get a refill of tea bags the following day. Not a problem, we just went back to the restaurant and got some from the tea machine. They supply sugar/sweeteners and a couple of wrapped biscuits.
I mentioned a TV on the wall. The remote control for the TV is sat on a little ledge directly under the TV. Due to my dexterity, I found this very high and very very difficult to grab hold of due to not being able to get my hand in under the TV to get a grip of the remote.
I’ve slept in many different hotel beds (even a broken one) and I have to say this was probably the worst by far! The bed was so hard that it caused pain in both of my hips and back. The severe pain I was in from the bed, made my weekend more difficult than needed. My husband had to do all the driving, transferring in/out of my chair was painful. I took my own specially designed pillow last time but stupidly forgot to bring it home. I rang the hotel explaining the situation and asked if I paid for the postage, could they post it out to me. They refused, saying they didn’t have the means to post stuff out!
With this in mind, I left my new one at home but found their pillows to be too soft and flat. They slid up the wooden headboard throughout the night which caused me neck pain too. So all in all not a great night’s sleep!
There is an emergency alarm on the right-hand side of the bed by the lamp.
If you request a double accessible, don’t expect a double bed. You are given two singles pushed and locked together! This (in my opinion) is why the mattresses are harder and you also have to deal with the rope-like rim that goes around the edge of each mattress making it double trouble down the centre of the bed.
The TV’s remote was kept on a ledge underneath the TV, I found it very difficult to reach and grab the remote. Every day the cleaners would put it back. I found it impossible to switch on subtitles as I couldn’t find this facility anywhere in the TV’s settings. Being partially deaf, this meant if I wanted to watch TV I had to sit underneath it to hear it or turn it up loud and run the risk of annoying other guests. Yes, I could have asked staff for help but I didn’t want to bother them, so just left it.
Accessible Wet Room
It’s a fairly functional wet room, shower, toilet, shower seat, sink, grab rails and two red alarm cords. Although the one at the entrance is far too close to the light cord so could be pulled by mistake. That’s it though! No extra bins, the small bin provided was a pedal bin? My pet hate, the sink was too near the toilet and I almost fell twice while transferring. (I know the sink has to be close but this was almost over the toilet itself). There was no shelf provided so nowhere to put a wash bag, brush or anything at all.
The toilet roll was so thin and cheap feeling I’m glad I take my own. On the plus side, the toilet chain was on the right side of the toilet and there is a mirror over the sink, for what use that would be without a shelf. Plenty of space to swing your chair in a full circle.
There are two entrances to access the main building where the restaurant is. Both are ramped. The restaurant is not always a table service. It has one unisex disabled toilet.
Breakfast – Either continental, which is buffet style or cooked breakfast which is ordered at your table. Be careful though, it is not obvious that they have two types of cooked breakfasts. You have the Classic & The Works. Hubby ordered a full English not knowing there were two kinds. Classic gives you one of each item of food but the Works gives you two of each item. He was given the second and charged accordingly.
Evening Meal – You decide what you’re having from the menu, find your table number and go to the bar to order your food. There is no table service so if you want something else or more drinks, you need to visit the bar. You also have a carvery (buffet style) but both I and my daughter found this to be rather poor quality and cold.
We were told a new menu was in place since our last visit. Hmmm, not much choice outside of steak & burgers and what we did have was not very tasty and cold like it had been made at the same time as our starters and left to sit!
The staff as a whole are friendly and very helpful. On our first visit last November we found what seemed to be mould on our bedsheets & pillows. We went to reception and within minutes the manager came to change our bedding. (This was approx 11 pm).
On our second day of this visit, I asked the room maids if it was at all possible to have a quilt put under our sheet as the mattresses were causing me pain. She said this would not be a problem as she has had many requests for this before. Why don’t the hotel do something about their mattresses then? It helped but because I was already in so much pain, unfortunately, it wasn’t perfect.
Worth The Stay
If you need somewhere overnight, then it’s probably one of the better places to stay. The price of a room is reasonable, the food price is average but the quality could be better. Rooms are very clean if somewhat minimalistic.
The big question is, would I stay here again? If I could find somewhere else, I would not stay here again. Unfortunately, we go to Telford for one reason, Comic-Con. So unless we could book an accessible room early enough before they are all sold out, then we probably wouldn’t have a choice in the matter and I would stay here begrudgingly!
Deals & Offers
At the time of writing this review, Spread Eagle have a 20% off main meals if you book directly with them. Full terms & Conditions.
If you liked what you have read and would like to work with me don’t hesitate to Contact Me. Feel free to leave a comment below.
Is Sistaco Nail Set The Solution For People With Dexterity Issues? – I ordered my Sistaco Mineral Bond Nail Set so I can test it out to see if it can help people like me (who suffers from dexterity issues) to apply colour to my nails. – I am in no way affiliated with this company but they knew I wished to purchase one of their nail sets so I could review it, they offered me a discount. Thank you Sistaco for your generosity.
Due to my disability, my hands don’t work very well. My arms and grip are very weak, my dexterity is awful meaning painting my own nails is almost an impossibility. So to make life much easier, quicker and cleaner, I end up going to nail bars to have my nails done. Which obviously can be very expensive if done regularly!
What Is A Sistaco Nail Set?
Sistaco Mineral Bond Nail Set is an alternative to nail varnish. Sistaco nails offer nail powders that come in either Classic, Holographic or Metallic finish that you simply rub onto your nails. There are many colours available and three nail kits to choose from:
The Deluxe Set (Choose 3 Colours from their range) + FREE REMOVER Priced at £75*
The Ultimate Set (Choose 6 Colours from their range) + FREE REMOVER Priced at £99*
*Prices correct at time of this review.
My Nail Kit Has Arrived
Sistaco Nail Set – I purchased the £99 nail kit as I was given a discount. On their website, all prices are in GPB and contact numbers seem to be in the UK, so you are lead to believe they are based in the UK. Not the case, the products actually come from Australia! This is not something that is made clear on their website, I’m unsure as to why but something to be aware of when placing an order.
The packaging is ok, nice, but not as luxurious as I would expect when paying £99 for a nail kit. The packaging consists of one cardboard box with magnetic flap closure. It has a foam filling with cutouts for the different items. (image left). With the £99 kit (as you get 6 colours) you get a separate plastic see-through box with the remaining 3 nail colours.
All of this was despatched to me in a grey plastic postal bag. This shocked me as your products can be easily damaged while in transit! This is especially worrying as the LED light does not sit flush into the cutout at the bottom of the box, meaning the box doesn’t close flush and the magnetic closure could come open easily.
The USB lead for the LED light and a bottle of express remover varnish both sit underneath the LED lamp. This suggests the cutout is being used for more than was originally planned. Not a major issue but I just expected more for the price. (Bubble wrap or other protection would help inside the postal bag).
Feeling the bottles and lids, they have a cheap plastic feel to them, again not what you would expect for your 100 bucks! They do look nice but feel cheap. I can’t help but feel there should have been a little more considering the price. Personally, I would have liked to have seen maybe a ribbon around the box, a little thank you note/card for your purchase or even a discount on my next order (especially in the top of the range kit).
I believe, if you pay a lot of money for something, you expect that something to reflect that. If you’re asked to pay boutique prices, you expect boutique-style products & packaging. The packaging for this product does not meet those expectations!
When you open the bottle, the powders look very lush indeed. Rich colours, a full bottle of powder. (Although on a future purchase, one bottle was only half full?).
How To Apply
Before attempting to use my kit, I looked on their website and viewed a few YouTube videos to find out just how easy these are to apply. From what I have seen It seems relatively easy. There are different methods of applying the powders depending on which finish you are using. Full Instructions: https://sistaco.co.uk/pages/how-to-apply
How To Remove
Lightly buff the surface of your colour.
Apply the Express Remover to your nail (make sure not to get any on your skin).
Wait 2-3 minutes and begin gently pushing away your colour with a remover tool.
Wipe away any residue, and your nails will be fresh and clean, ready for your next colour!
I have read some reviews that claim the remover doesn’t do a good job. I will be putting that to the test also.
The video below is the one used on Sistaco’s website. It does seem a little too good to be true. I do hope to be proven wrong on this!
My First Use
My “setup” consists of: Two sheets of kitchen roll (folded) to catch any fall-out Basecoat nail varnish Topcoat nail varnish, (both topcoat/base coat sitting in a tub of hot water) Plastic tub for sitting my varnishes in hot water Nail Powder of choice Nail powder applicator LED lamp (USB operated) Orange sticks to clean excess base coat/top coat from around my nails Small headed make-up brush to brush away excess powder from around my nails Wooden block so I can rest each finger on at a higher height while applying varnish/powders
The fact the LED lamp is USB operated is a drawback as you then need to be close to a USB socket while doing your nails. I have not seen an AC/DC power lead advertised on their website, so I would assume USB is the only way to connect the lamp.
Hot water for varnishes? Yes, I’ve read from other users that putting your base coat and topcoat varnish in hot water makes them less glupey and much easier to apply.
Preparing your nails is probably the most important part of the process as I found out the hard way. I dived straight in and found the powders are attracted to any kind of lump, bump or blemishes on your nails. I would recommend buffing/smoothing your nails and more importantly making sure your cuticles are clean & smooth around your nails as this will cause the powder to collect in this area making for a rough & unfinished look. (Image right).
I visited the Sistaco Facebook page looking for tips as I found the base coat and topcoat to be very thick & glupey. This makes it difficult to keep the sides of your fingers clean. So once cured under the lamp, you can have excess hardened powder coming off the sides of your nails. Again, making for an unfinished look.
Sistaco users suggest warming up the base coat and topcoat before using. I read this helps thin the liquid so it is easier to apply a thinner coat onto your nails. Something I have to agree with 100%, this does in fact make applying much easier indeed.
When you open the jars, the powders look very lush indeed. Rich colours, a full bottle of powder. (Although on a future purchase, one bottle was only half full?). Applying the powder to your nail is easy but be careful not to rub or press too hard as this can then make the powder ball up and create blemishes.
I haven’t yet found how to clean my applicators, I’m in the process of researching this.
As I said previously I didn’t really prepare my nails before applying, so I went ahead and immediately put on the base coat nail varnish, followed immediately by the topcoat (as you’re told to do this for longer wear). I then cured my nails under the LED lamp for 60 seconds. Once I had done this I took my applicator with the sponge tip, dipped it into the powder of my choice and put on a minimal amount of powder on the applicator and proceeded to rub it onto my nail.
The powder went on smoothly, although at this point I wasn’t expecting much to happen but I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. Next was a coat of topcoat, then cured under the lamp. I applied a second coat of nail powder and this time I did 2 coats of topcoat nail varnish, curing my nails between both coats.
Cure nails under lamp
Coat of nail powder
Cure nails twice under lamp
I was not initially over-impressed with the results (yes, I know I keep banging on about it) but because I didn’t prepare my nails the powder is quite unforgiving where any sort of blemishes might be on your nail. Therefore, the cleanup process around my nails took some time using a wooden cuticle (orange stick) to try and scrape away the excess powder/varnish.
I’m still in the very early stages of using this kit and I have read that a lot of people initially, find it is a bit of a trial and error method in finding what works best for you. There are a couple of different ways to clean the edges so really it’s a personal choice and finding what works best for you you. (Since writing this, Sistaco now sell a bottle of Precision Edge). I haven’t personally used this as I am more than happy with how I do my nails.
I’m hoping my 2nd attempt will be much better!
Due to not preparing my nails, I ended up with the only way I can describe it is an overhang on my nail. (Excess undercoat and powder that had hardened past the point of the edge of my nail). I happen to catch this and it peeled off my nail. In one respect I was pleased because it gave me the perfect excuse to take everything off and try again but on the same token, I was disappointed as I had made such a hash of my first attempt.
So, the first thing I had to do was use the express remover to take off the existing nail powder already on my nails. As I mentioned before a lot of people said this didn’t seem to work very well. I can understand what they mean, especially if you’re an impatient person like me. The word here would be patience, patience, patience! OK, that was 3 words!
The express remover does work, it just takes time. You do have to put a coat on, leave your nails for approximately 3 to 5 minutes and then start to gently scrape off the varnish/powder from your nail.
Depending on how many coats of varnish/powder you have put on your nails, this will obviously determine how easy or long it will take to remove! I noticed some of my nails were much easier and quicker to remove compared to other nails that took more work.
Preparation For 2nd Attempt
At this point, I had both the base coat and topcoat sitting in a tub of hot water as I was now testing the thinning theory to see if it did actually make the varnish easier to apply. Yes, it worked a treat and it most certainly helped the varnish go on much more thinly and smoothly.
I cleaned my nails with a normal wet wipe, I then used a nail buffer block to file, shape, smooth, and buff my nails. Again I cleaned my nails to remove any excess nail shavings from buffing and then put on my first coat of base coat.
My setup was pretty much the same as my first attempt but the only difference was a tub of hot water for my base & topcoat varnish to sit in. I applied the base coat with no topcoat this time, as per the instructions for the classic powder finish you just put on a base coat followed by the powder. Curing your nail/s before applying the powder.
I took my time this time, (holding my excitement back) and did each nail individually, purely due to my dexterity and the way my hands are shaped. I can’t keep my fingers separated enough to prevent one finger from hitting another fingernail and causing smudges in the varnish/powder.
Not only that I wanted to spend more time cleaning around my fingernails preferably without having to use vaseline around the edges as suggested by other users or messing around with liquid latex. I simply resorted back to my wooden cuticle stick and every time I put a coat of base coat or topcoat on my nail, before curing I would take the cuticle stick, use the flat-ended side to gently remove excess varnish down each side of my finger. As the varnish was still wet, this worked beautifully!!
When applying the powder, very little pressure is needed to make the powder stick to your nail. This is great for people like myself that don’t have a good grip. Also, there really is minimal fallout, just make sure to tap excess powder off the applicator over the powder bottle.
Again, due to my dexterity, I am unable to lay my hands/fingers flat under the lamp. The fact it is small enough to hold over my nails, I can cure my nails without having to lay them flat on the table. (Something I struggle with at nail bars).
My Process This Time:
Use cuticle stick to remove excess varnish
Use cuticle stick/make-up brush to remove excess powder away from my nail
Use cuticle stick to remove excess varnish
Second coat of powder
Use cuticle stick to remove excess powder away from my nail
Use cuticle stick to remove excess varnish
Cure nail twice
Wiped nails/fingers clean of any excess with a wet wipe
Warning – When using the topcoat remember to clean the brush BEFORE putting it back into the bottle. The powder can/will transfer onto the brush, so when you put the brush back into the bottle the colour transfers into the remaining liquid in the bottle. I found this out the hard way. (Sometimes you can get away with it on the lighter colours).
According to Sistaco, here are the instructions for application according to powder finish:
For Classic colours, you’ll have to do, Base coat > set > Colour Powder > Base coat > set > Colour powder > Top coat > set.
For Holo/Metallic, it is Base coat > Top Coat > set > colour powder > Base coat > Top Coat > set colour powder > Top Coat > set.
I’m extremely impressed with the result I got this time and can’t believe how easy it is to apply. I don’t know if it made a difference but once I had completed doing each nail, I put on an extra coat of topcoat varnish. I hoped this would give a little extra shine and I cured them all twice.
One thing I will say and (at this point not 100% sure). I think the sponge applicator can cause little blemishes (almost like specks of sponge) over the nail when applying/rubbing on the powder. This then becomes quite obvious if missed and the topcoat has been applied and cured. Either that or the powder is balling up while rubbing the powder on. Something I can not test immediately and will only tell after a few applications. I intend to purchase some eyeshadow brushes (the sponge type) to test out. (So I have applied the powders a couple of times now and found I was rubbing the powder too hard and too long).
Due to my disability/dexterity, I have to do one nail at a time. The powder is so easy to do, you don’t mind. I did one nail at a time so I can spend time making sure each nail/finger is cleaned properly so no extra powder is around my nail.
I have used this nail system several times now. I love how easy it is to use and with over 100 colours to choose from, you really are spoilt for choice. Be careful though, it does become addictive. After putting on my first colour, I couldn’t wait to try the other colours lol. I now have over 20 colours.
As for using this system with my disability, this is extremely easy for me to use. One of the first companies to make doing my own nails work for me. The only issue I have is trying to remove the powder/varnish from my right hand. My grip is so weak in my left, I can not use a tool of any kind to help scrape off the powder after applying the express remover.
On my last few fingers, hubby does it for me. I have tried putting on a small amount, large amounts of the remover, tried removing after a minute, 5 minutes but it just won’t budge as easy as I had hoped for.
Unfortunately, (for us customers) I do believe the majority of their products/powders etc are very overpriced, outside of their powders & varnish, very good alternatives that are identical can be found elsewhere online for far cheaper and I don’t have to wait over 2 weeks for them to arrive. Worth bearing this in mind when choosing what to purchase.
I now have over 20 colours and I’ve just ordered more topcoat, basecoat, remover and applicators. So, that means I have spent well over £400 already. (This does not include the money spent on powders for my Christmas pressie or all the varnishes & applicators bought since starting this review).
Easy to use
Many colour choices – Over 100 available
Colours look better in real life
Last longer than traditional nail varnish – Varnish easy to chip
Looks just as good as a salon finish – High gloss finish
3D embellishments now available – Not available when I started this review
5 /10 pack applicators now available – Not available when I started this review
Precision edge now available – Not available when I started this review
Products come from Australia – Delivery is normally 2 weeks +
Overpriced – Their showcase stand for one, is overpriced for home use
Addictive – Can become very expensive
One applicator with £99 kit – At least three should be supplied
3 -in -1 applicator for removing powder must be bought seperately – You are not getting a FULL kit, even the top of the range kit at £99 doesn’t include one
Express remover does not work as well as advertised on their website
Check online for equivalent items before commiting to Sistaco as cheaper and similar products can be found
One coat of powder may not be enough – Mulberry – classic finish came up a little pale. It didn’t give much coverage at the tips of my nails, making them almost see-through
When applying base coat and topcoat, keep them in a pot of hot water – This makes them go on easier and smoother
Keep your top coat varnish brush clean – Colour can remain on the brush and tanser into the remaining varnish
Wooden cuticle (orange) sticks are great for removing excess varnish around nails
A small headed make-up brush (not too fluffy) is good at removing excess powder from around your nails before applying topcoat
If you purchase “Raven” powder, a black colour, be very careful as I have found this to be the messiest of powders so far when applying and it is a bugger to get off
Will I Continue To Use Sistaco
Try and stop me ha ha ha Yes, I will need to spend money on their powders and Varnishes but everything else, I will look for a happy alternative before purchasing on Sistaco’s website.
WAV – Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle. A vehicle you can drive from your wheelchair or internal transfer to the driver seat or be a passenger. I have a WAV and it has improved my independence to the point I no longer have to depend on my husband to be my personal chauffeur. Where can you get one? How much are they? What adaptions can I have? I will do my best to answer all of these questions and many more.
What Is A WAV?
A WAV – “Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle” can be a van, caddy or some other type of vehicle big enough to take a wheelchair user inside. Myself, I have a Ford Transit Van, this has room for my electric wheelchair and up to 4 passengers.
There are many ways a wheelchair user may travel/drive a WAV. To my knowledge, you have:
Wheelchair user as a passenger – The wheelchair user is a full-time passenger in the vehicle and someone else drive the vehicle.
Wheelchair user internal transfer – Wheelchair user transfers from their wheelchair into the driver seat to drive. This is what I have.
Drive from wheelchair – The vehicle is adapted so the wheelchair user may drive the vehicle from their wheelchair.
WAV’s can be adapted in many different ways to suit the wheelchair user. Hand controls for driving, six-way driver seat, ramp, floor locking device, too many to mention. This is something that you would need to discuss with the supplier of the vehicle.
Where Can I Get A WAV?
One of the main places people get a WAV from is Motability, (if you are in receipt of DLA/PIP high rate mobility). They are the most knowledgeable about WAVs unless, of course, you go directly to a WAV company.
Me? I was at a Motability roadshow a couple of years ago and saw Motability Operations (separate from Motability) there and spoke to them to get more information about how one would go about getting a WAV. I spoke with a wonderful man who took the time to talk to me and explain things. There were two main criteria required:
In receipt of DLA/PIP mobility high rate.
Working or volunteering, which warranted a vehicle.
As I met both requirements, I was able to go ahead with an application if I wished. I went home to think things over.
What Adaptations Can I Have?
When applying for a WAV, you will meet with a person who will discuss with you what your needs are and then talk you through what they can offer you. Truly, there are tons of different adaptions that can be made to a vehicle to enable you to drive. Just to name a few:
Wheelchair Stowage Solutions
Vehicle Access Solutions
Drive From Wheelchair Conversions
Electronic Step Access
The list is truly endless and it is mind-blowing the things that can be done. Personally, my van has rear ramp access, a 6-way driver seat, a floor locking device to lock my electric wheelchair while I’m either a passenger or driver, a button push handbrake and automatic gears.
The image on the left shows my driver seat on runners. This allows the driver seat to be operated electronically, it can go backwards & forwards, up & down and rotates left & right to allow me to transfer into the driver seat.
How Much Does A WAV Cost?
This really depends on how you go about getting a WAV, with Motability, you can get one (if you are accepted) on a lease scheme for 5 years, check out their website for more in-depth information. If you go directly to a WAV company, there, you can look into both used and new WAVs to purchase. Here are a few companies I found that sell WAVs (please make sure you do your research in what best suits your needs), I am not responsible for any third party links I have supplied: Also if purchasing privately, you will need to arrange for your adaptations to be done by them (if they do adaptations or a third party company). The more you need to be adapted, the higher the price will obviously be.
I went through Motability Operations for my WAV. Once I had filled in the necessary forms and these were accepted, someone came to my home to discuss my needs and go through what could be done, adaptions wise. The pandemic started shortly after this adding some time to the overall time period. In total, it took approx a year from filling in the forms to receiving my vehicle.
I had to also apply for a grant to pay for all the adaptations needed. I had to wait to find out if I had been accepted for the grant before anything could move forward. Once approved, I test drove three different WAVS (not all at the same time). When I was happy with my vehicle choice, work got underway to adapt it to my needs.
These are called stages 1 & 2, this is where (I think) two different companies work on the modifications needed. One company deals with the lowering of the vehicle floor to allow for the ramp entry and the electric driver seat, while the other company deals with tie-downs, electric handbrake etc. This is where the process can take some time. The more that needs to be adapted, the longer things will obviously take. Due to the pandemic, this did indeed take quite some time for me.
The vehicle is brought out once or twice so they can measure up tie downs, wheelchair floor clamps etc. This is exciting as you get a sneak peek into what your WAV is going to look like.
Once all the modifications are complete and everything is as it should be, you get the official handover and the WAV is now with you for the duration of however long your contract, lease etc maybe.
Since receiving my van, my independence has soared. I no longer have to depend on my husband to take me places and my husband no longer has to strain his back getting my heavy electric chair up and down ramps in and out of the car boot. So I would say a win all round.
One thing I will say though, a little warning so to speak, I didn’t account for the sheer size of the vehicle. It took me some time to feel confident driving such a big vehicle, this is something to bear in mind when making a choice on the vehicle you want/need.
It is NOISY and bloody uncomfortable as a passenger!! Disappointed is an understatement, to say the least! As a passenger, my electric wheelchair is held in place via a floor locking device and a seat belt. I feel every bump on the road and for someone who suffers terrible back pain most days, this plays havoc.
If I’m a front seat passenger (as I can transfer), the ride is much smoother indeed. The trouble is, I don’t want to have to transfer from my wheelchair to the driver’s seat and then onto the front passenger seat every time I’m a passenger. I mean, the reason for being a passenger on any day is due to pain.
Noise? OMG, the van makes such a racket. The ramp rattles and shakes, you think you can hear every nut and bolt moving. Because of this don’t try and have a conversation in the back, it’s almost impossible and even worse if you’re trying to talk to either the driver and/or the front passenger.
There have been many times I have felt quite alone on a journey because I can’t hear others talking to me. Maybe I should just plug in some headphones and go off into my own little world!
If you liked my blog, leave a comment below. If you would like to work with me, or if there is anything you would like me to blog about, don’t hesitate to Contact Me.
Shaw Academy False Advertise and Steal Your Money. They offer you a 4-week FREE trial on a course and then once you have signed up for that course. Take your money immediately! Now, I don’t know about you but if I’m offered a 4-week FREE trial, my expectation would be to try that course for 4 weeks. If I was happy to continue with the course, then pay the fee required. Is that fair to say? Not to Shaw Academy, it’s not!
What Are You Offered?
Shaw Academy (an online learning company) advertises on Facebook many courses with a 4-week FREE trial. SA advertise on their website: £49.99 per month but FREE for 4 weeks, a button to click to “start your FREE course” and most importantly…….NO COMMITMENT!! The trouble is, this is a blatant lie.
My husband (Jeff) signed up for one of their course on the premise that he would be able to try part of the course for 4 weeks and if happy, then pay the fee advertised £49.99 (as shown in the image).
Once Jeff had signed up though, £49.99 was immediately taken from his bank account! He contacted Shaw Academy straight away to find out why. He got no reply. Hubby tried several times with no response whatsoever!
I did some research and found a customer services number. It was an automated telephone line! The result of phoning this number was being told by a robot, to cancel your account.
Shaw Academy false advertise and steals your money by advertising a 4-week FREE trial to nearly any one of their online courses, therefore, once you have signed up, they take money from your bank/card etc. When you try to contact them, they just ignore you!
If you cancel your account, you are sent emails confirming your cancellation and assuring you you will be refunded and no more money will be taken…….IT’S ALL LIES!!! There is every possibility SA will just reactivate it again, enabling them to take even more money from you.
While researching for a SA customer service number, I came across a Facebook group where there are tons of other people who have also been scammed by Shaw Academy.
I can only comment about what we had done. I posted my questions all over social media directed at SA asking why they scammed 50 quid out of my husband. Commented on any post I saw by SA warning people to steer clear! I did this daily, several times a day.
In the meantime, we contacted Paypal to get a refund under the “item not as described” consumer rule. They explained to us that because Jeff had cancelled his account, this was not possible. Had Jeff had not cancelled his account, they could probably help.
This was disappointing, to say the least. If you have unauthorised money taken from your bank, the first thing you’d do would be to cancel the account? Yes? How would you know NOT to cancel the account if you want Papal to help?
Anyhow, I kept on emailing the company explaining the consumer law and how they were false advertising and misleading their customers. Quoted to them their own terms & conditions (image above). I may also have mentioned if Jeff didn’t receive a full refund, we would be going to the relevant authorities. I posted similar on social media repeatedly until we eventually got a reply informing us Jeff he would get his refund.
Shaw Academy T&C
1. Your Shaw Academy membership may start with a free trial. The free trial period of your membership lasts for 28 days, unless otherwise specified, from the time of initial registration or as otherwise specified during sign-up and is intended to allow new members and certain former members to try the service. You will be notified during sign-up whether you are eligible for a free trial.
2. We will bill any Payment Method provided by You for your 28 days membership fee at the end of the free trial period unless you cancel your membership prior to the end of the free trial period. To view the 28 days membership end date of your free trial period, visit our website, log into your student account and we will tell you how long you have left in your My Courses page.
3. Free trial offers unlimited access to our courses for a period of 4 weeks. You are able to purchase optional digital content in form of certificates or course material, not a subject to free trial.
They do spell it out very nicely! It is probably one of the worst things a company can do……Not follow their own terms & conditions. You know immediately, the kind of company you are dealing with.
Reading the horror stories on the Facebook group of other customers who have been scammed by Shaw Academy, we are keeping an eye on Jeff’s account as it is possible his account may suddenly become active again and more money taken.
Jeff got his refund but what a fight it was to get it!
I can’t stress this enough, Facebook ads are more often than not, not worth risking dealing with. Too many are scams, poor quality goods. They may seem cheap monetary wise but by god, they are expensive in your time! The time needed to fight when things go badly wrong!
Another point to remember…..ALWAYS READ THE TERMS & CONDITIONS and any reviews you can find BEFORE parting with ANY money!!
If you liked my blog, leave a comment below. If you would like to work with me, or if there is anything you would like me to blog about, don’t hesitate to Contact Me.
As I won my compensation claim against NHS Wheelchair Service/contracted repairers for damage caused to my floors by leaking batteries in my electric wheelchair, I am now in a position to have my floors finally replaced. I chose Tapi Carpets, I’m looking to have them lay laminate flooring throughout all of our downstairs and lay a carpet in our bedroom. If I found Tapi to be of good quality and service, I would then book them to do my stair/landing floor. So a fairly lucrative order for Tapi. So, how good were their service and products?
Tapi Carpets: How Good Is Their Service And Products? – I contacted Tapi Carpetsas they had been recommended to me. I had browsed their website which I found to be informative. It had a good range of laminate flooring, carpets and luxury vinyl tiles. We were looking for laminate flooring throughout the downstairs of our home and carpet for our bedroom. Once we decided on what we would like, I contacted the company to arrange for them to come and do a quote.
Our Quote From Tapi
A gentleman came out who seemed pleasant enough but had no idea as to what we wanted quoting. (Something that I had told the operator who booked our appointment). We told him which flooring we wanted and he explained and apologised as he didn’t have those samples as a new line of flooring was coming in. Off to a great start I see!
We went on to explain we needed very tough wearing floors to handle my electric wheelchair as it is an indoor/outdoor chair so is very heavy and has large gripping tyres. He confirmed the floors we had chosen would be fine and Tapi offer a “wear guarantee” on every floor.
Our quote arrived later that day via an email priced at £1840.98. Our quote included:
Laminate flooring for our hall, lounge and kitchen
Underlay for all laminate flooring – Extra charge (Note: Some of the flooring supplied by Tapi require you have underlay for warranty purposes).
Scotia’s & End profiles (End profiles, no idea what they are)
Carpet for our bedroom & Spray adhesive
Uplift, removal and disposal of all existing flooring – Extra charge
Fitting – Extra charge – Tapi don’t make it clear that payment is direct to fitters on completion
We decided to go ahead with our quote. The three floors we ordered were:
From left to right – Floor 1: Richmond – Pembroke Oak, Floor 2: Richmond – Asgil Oak, Floor 3: Dallas Carpet.
Tapi Not Generous With Important Information
We were told by two different people at Tapi, the time-frame would be 2-3 weeks from start to finish. Great, won’t be long until completion. We paid for our flooring 10th August 2020, the fitters came to lay our hall/lounge floor 25th September 2020. Hmm, is that 2-3 weeks?? Have I miss-calculated? No, I didn’t think so.
While waiting, I contacted Tapi to get information about how the laying of the floors would be with a full-time wheelchair present. (I needed access to my wet room), so needed to know some sort of schedule.
Tapi replied, “The fitter will fit one room at time. If the wheelchair user is able to wait in a different room while he fits that’ll be great”. Sorry but that information wasn’t really all that helpful. (Should I just vacate my home altogether?). So glad I didn’t!! All will become clear soon.
We were told we would receive contact from Tapi the day before fitting, with arrival times of the fitters. Mid-afternoon I hadn’t received anything. As Tapi had been fairly bad at communication to date, hubby and I began to wonder if this was a terrible sign. I phoned the store, just rang and rang, emailed, nothing, tweeted, nothing! We were now getting worried we had paid a lot of money for something that wasn’t going to happen!
At 4:56 pm, I received an automated email: Tomorrow’s the big day! “Your fitter will contact you either later today, or tomorrow morning, to let you know when they’ll be arriving”. (They never did ring me). Then, 5:32 pm (Talk about 11th hour!!) I receive an email from Tapi with the information I needed. The fitters would be arriving between 9-11 am.
The Fitting Of Our Floors
Our fitters (who I have to clarify are NOT Tapi employees, Tapi contract the work out to third parties, according to the fitters) arrived at 11 am. Two men arrived, introduced themselves and got straight to work. They worked non-stop until 10 pm. They were very nice and I have no complaints whatsoever.
The fitters were professional and friendly and I have to say, very impressed as they cleaned up every bit of mess and even mopped the new floor once finished.
In fact, I would recommend them to anyone looking for fitters and I’m hoping they will be returning to fit our kitchen floor once that has been rectified. More on that later.
Our floor in the lounge and hallway is amazing and beautiful looking. I am very impressed with the work that has been done. 10/10 to our fitters…Thank you for doing such a brilliant job.
No Kitchen Floors Today!
Our fitters showed us a sample of the flooring that was to be laid in the kitchen (taken from a new packet). Omg, I could have cried, the sample was (in my opinion) nothing like what we had ordered or what the website advertises. The sample looked like it had been lifted up from a high traffic warehouse after 20 years of use!! The website shows a lovely rich dark/black wooden laminate floor, shown below (middle picture).
The sample looked extremely washed out (Pictured left), I actually thought it was a sample that been in their van for some time. I was shocked this had come out of a new packet of flooring. Put against our present black flooring, the sample is far from black. The far-right picture shows what we believe to look very close to what floor came with the fitters.
Yes, I’m aware we are always told colours shown on a website are not always identical in real-life, but not this different! We explained to the fitters this is not the flooring we ordered and did not want them to lay it down in our kitchen. They advised ringing the store. I explained that the store NEVER answers their phone, so the fitter rang (to whoever) on our behalf.
Tapi said they would need to compare the sample to their shop sample to confirm if they are the same and then take things from there. It may be the case the wrong flooring was sent out or the image on the website is wrong. (I believe the latter is the case, to be honest).
More Mistakes By Crappy Tapi!
The following morning (Saturday), I received a phone call from Tapi. (I thought this was regarding the sample from the previous day. No, not so lucky!) It was to inform me, the fitter went to the warehouse to pick up my carpet and was told that particular carpet (Dallas in Grey) hadn’t been in distribution for some time and therefore not available!! This was the last thing I needed to hear!
I was so angry! I told Tapi, that I would choose a new floor for my kitchen and another one for our bedroom without any quibble from Tapi. He agreed!
Resolution So Far?….None!
So, the following day (Sunday 27th Sept) I rang Tapi for an update. The flooring for both kitchen and bedroom was on order and once confirmed, an appointment would be made for the fitters to come and lay the floors. He explained he was off on Wednesday and would get in touch with me on Thursday with dates for fitting.
I didn’t hear anything on Thursday, so I sent an email the following day (Friday), for an update on my floors. Tapi replied 5/10/2020 informing me my carpet was due for delivery the following day and could be fitted that week. Great! Bad news? My kitchen floor is out of stock and will probably take to the end of October before it’s back in stock again…..Bloody typical!! I now mentioned a goodwill gesture wouldn’t go amiss, he said he would see what he could do.
Due to the timeframe, the fitters who lay my hall/lounge floor understandably now would like paying for the work done so far. They asked if I could phone Tapi for the cost of what was owed to them so far. I did this and paid what was owed.
Friday 9th October, finally my bedroom carpet is laid, 2 months since payment!! The fitters, (Different fitters from laminate fitters), did ring beforehand with a timeframe as the standard auto email explained.
Three men turned up to lay one rectangle bedroom carpet. NONE of them wore any PPE, not even a mask!! What angers me the most is the fact Tapi is fully aware I’m a disabled customer, one would assume common sense would tell you that that customer is most likely shielding, yes? If unsure…….Bloody ASK!!
Tapi’s website says the following:
Our fitting partners are working across England, Scotland and Wales.
They have been provided with adequate PPE equipment and will be sanitising between every visit.
They will ensure that social distancing is maintained at all times while in your home.
Not my fitters! Not even as much as have one mask between them!!
They also say: “Rest assured, we will continue to put the safety of our teams and customer first, and feel confident we have the right technology and processes in place to ensure this”. So why knowingly put unprotected fitters into a disabled person home??
They were also in quite hurry, they came in my front door, straight upstairs, no hello, broke a picture frame, took roughly 20 minutes and gone! But took 3 of them to do that!
To add insult to injury, the fitter was unable to supply an invoice, nor did they offer a receipt of our payment. I have since messaged them asking for both. Would not recommend these fitters at all.
Reading Tapi’s TrustPilot reviews, this is not the first time this has happened. I emailed and complained!
They did get back to me informing me my complaint has been passed onto the manager who is also CEO. Nothing since!
I finally got a date for my kitchen floor to be laid, 9th November 2020! That is 3 months (literally to the date), from the date we paid Tapi for our order. So if/when crappy Tapi tell you 2-3 weeks for completion, they probably mean 2-3 MONTHS!!
Even though Tapi told us the end of Oct our floor would arrive, when I complained about the carpet fitters wearing no PPE, I asked for an update on our kitchen floor…..Guess what? Our floor was in!! When was Tapi going to tell me???
The floor was fitted by the same company that fitted our lounge/hall flooring, so again no issues. The only downside to the flooring is the fact it is NOT what we had originally ordered, Tapi was unable to offer a suitable alternative, so we went with the same flooring as in the hall/lounge.
I’m sure the majority of you will understand me when I am extremely disappointed in not getting the floor I wanted.
Pros and Cons
Quality and style of our laminate floor seem very very good. I would recommend this floor. We have since decided to have this our kitchen now as crappy Tapi’s (black) flooring is not black!
Their prices are fairly reasonable.
Tapi gives you wear guarantee on every floor. Our downstairs floor has 20 years wear guarantee. (How this will pan out if I need to use this, I have no idea, TrustPilot’s review are not promising!) Our (new choice) of carpet doesn’t state “wear guarantee” on their website. (A bit worrying).
The laminate fitters are professional, friendly and work very hard. The result is wonderful.
Tapi can take forever to order/lay your flooring. It’s taken 3 months so far for us!
When having a quote, the salesperson may not have samples to show you. DO NOT trust Tapi’s images on their website, they can NOT be trusted.
Make sure you check the fitter’s invoice, our carpet fitters tried overcharging us. (Tapi can give you a break down of the fitter’s charges on request).
Confirm the product you want is still being sold, the carpet we ordered is still being advertised on their site even though Tapi say is no longer available. (False advertising?)
Information to help disabled customers leaves a lot to be desired.
Informed regarding extra charges – (Moving of furniture, uplift of your previous flooring, disposal of your old flooring). Is not made clear enough!
You pay the fitters separately from Tapi once they have laid your floor/s. This is a real annoyance when more than one fitter is involved.
Our carpet fitters wore no PPE whatsoever when laying our carpet.
Chase Tapi every time when waiting for your flooring to come in. They have a great knack at not informing customers when their flooring arrives.
Tapi Carpets have been unable to provide a service one would expect from a so-called professional company. They have shown complete incompetence, total disregard for any and all upheaval and confusion throughout my whole experience with them.
From not being able to provide samples of flooring, selling me a carpet they say they haven’t been selling for some time (yet still advertise this very carpet/colour on their website) to providing flooring that doesn’t match with any shop sample or website image and sending fitters who don’t wear PPE, yet state on their website PPE is supplied to their fitters??
The sad part is, they are reasonably priced and so far, their products do seem to be of good quality. But, the stress of the whole experience is NOT worth any money I may have saved. It really isn’t!
As a disabled customer, they seemed incapable of answering or reassuring me on any queries I had. To not be able to reassure a customer they will be able to go to the toilet while their floor is being laid, is quite shocking really!!
As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, I would like to have my stairs and upstairs hall carpet replaced. Will I use Tapi?? Never, even if hell froze over!!!
Would I recommend Tapi? No! Quite the opposite, I would advise staying clear away from this incompetent company. They actually behave as they have only just started trading in this field.
My floors I have to say are holding up nicely. No lifting, fading and as a full-time electric wheelchair user, no scratches. Cleaning them is easy, we use one of those mops that look like they use wet wipes. I noticed when they were first laid (wooden flooring), there didn’t seem to be much of a shine of them. They looked very dull but as time goes by, I’ve noticed they have a nice sheen off them now.
It is very unfortunate the company behave like they don’t know much as their products are proving (at the moment) to be very good.
If you liked what you have read and would like to work with me don’t hesitate to Contact Me. Feel free to leave a comment below.
False Eyelashes: That Work With Poor Dexterity: I have poor movement and grip in my hands. I have searched for what feels like a lifetime for false eyelashes that I can put on and take off by myself. That search is now over!
A few years ago, I used to get individual lashes put on at a beauty salon to give me fuller and longer eyelashes. I really don’t know why I did this as there really wasn’t anything wrong with my own lashes once I had applied mascara. I suppose seeing other females with what I believed to be lovely long lashes made me feel like mine were not good enough.
Unfortunately, this was a big mistake! Having this done repeatedly for approx 6 months, I ruined my own lashes. What the beauty salons don’t tell you is that while having the glued-on false individual lashes removed, they can and often do, pull your own lashes out along with them. This, in turn, makes your own lashes look short, uneven and very sparse. So, of course, you feel the need to have this treatment again! It ends up being a vicious circle. I found my own lashes never really grew back properly.
I suffered from having minimal lashes for well over a year before they grew back to anywhere near what I had previously and even now, they are not like they used to be but that could also be down to my age lol.
My Dream of Wearing False Eyelashes
Anyway, ever since I can remember, I wanted to be able to wear false eyelashes. You know, for those wild nights out or special occasions. (Although not many wild nights anymore :)) Due to my disability, I could never use them due to how fiddly they were to put on and all that glue…..Always terrified I was going to harm my eyes by getting the glue in my eyes.
I tried so many times to find a workaround with the glue, applicators and different types of lashes. Nothing worked, so I had to give up. (Hence why I started using the salons for false lashes). One of my regrets, I have to say.
That is until now……Magnetic false eyelashes…….The solution to my problem 🙂 This did take a few trials and errors to find what worked for me (and my hands). I tried them using an applicator, that was useless, I bought eyelashes with only 3 magnets, they didn’t sit right. Finally, I found a good combination….
The Solution to my Problem
Magnetic eyelashes, how do they work?
You apply the magnetic eyeliner as you would any other liner – I would suggest testing the amount you need to apply – Let dry for about 2-3 minutes.
Take your magnetic lashes and position them onto the magnetic eyeliner as close as possible to your own top lashes.
I started out using Superdrugs magnetic false lashes that comes with its own magnetic eyeliner, magnetic eyelashes and liner brush. I found several issues with this product.
The lashes didn’t sit right
The pot of magnetic gel liner is glupey/sticky and very difficult to apply and dried out after one use.
The price was very expensive
So, I did some research and looked online for alternatives. I ended up buying an applicator that looked like an eyelash curler to see if this would aid me in putting them onto my eyes.
The applicator came with magnetic lashes. These lashes are supposed to sit above and under your top lashes. I used Superdrugs magnetic liner. What a bloody palaver that turned out to be!
The applicator was more than useless. The lashes magnetised to the applicator (obviously) but when you put them to your eye and try to release the lashes to sit on your own lashes, they don’t budge, they will not come off the applicator and if they do, you have only half the lashes on your eyes. Not a pretty sight I can tell ya lol
Moving onto my next idea, I decided to dump the applicator and lashes and look for some different ones. You may or may not know these lashes can come in all shapes, sizes and thicknesses. It’s a personal preference as to which ones you want to buy/wear.
Also, magnetic eyelashes can come with different amounts of magnets. Some have three and some have four (that I can tell). I definitely recommend using ones with 4 magnets.
Still using Superdrugs liner, I made sure the next pair of magnetic lashes that I bought had four magnets. They came in a handy compact holder (shown to the right) on eBay for a good price.
As Superdrugs liner is very dry and sticky, applying it onto your eyelids can be hard work. I tend to put mine on fairly thick, I never know how close I’m going to get the lashes to my own. So, if they are not as close as I would have hoped, I still have plenty of eyeliner for them to magnetise to.
I have terrible grip and movement in my hands. I struggle putting on false eyelashes in the conventional way (lashes and glue method). Thankfully, a new breed of false eyelashes have emerged and are much easier for me to use.
Decide the right shape, size and thickness of magnetic false eyelashes to want to wear.
Decide if you want to/can use an applicator.
Purchase magnetic eyelashes, liner and applicator as a set or individually – I would advise you get lashes with 4 magnets, they stay in place much better.
Apply the magnetic liner.
Place the lashes as close as you can to your own.
One thing I will say though, Superdrugs magnetic eyeliner is a bitch to take off. I had mine on all day and I used a wet wipe to remove the liner and ended up hurting my eye. I never normally have any issues using a wet wipe to remove my liner, it’s my usual routine but whatever this eyeliner is made from, it really doesn’t want to come off.
Do search around as prices can vary greatly. I got all mine on eBay, in fact, I have just bought some liquid magnetic liner to see if that is any easier to apply compared to Superdrugs Gel liner. Once I have received it and tried it, I will update and let you know how I found it.
I wore mine yesterday (a fairly windy day) and they stayed on the whole time. Now, I do wear glasses when out, so this may have helped. They are extremely comfortable to wear, so comfortable, I forgot I was wearing them, to be honest.
I say, give them a go, they are so easy to apply and can be bought at reasonable prices if you shop around.
If you liked what you have read and would like to work with me don’t hesitate to Contact Me. Feel free to leave a comment below.
Fish Insurance: Do You Have Insurance For Your Wheelchair? – If you insure your wheelchair or mobility aid, you get peace of mind and protection for your chair. Fish Insurance is a company that can insure your mobility products:
Prosthetics & Orthotics
And of course all the other stuff like home/holiday insurance etc.
As you may be aware, I am due to fly out to Vegas later in the year and my biggest worry of all things that could go wrong is my electric wheelchair being broken, or worse, lost!! That would be my trip destroyed. So insurance is very important. My insurance package for my NHS Electric Wheelchair with Fish includes a worldwide cover (including baggage handler cover). This is exactly what I needed to put my mind at rest, I’m sure you can imagine the stress I was feeling!
As a responsible wheelchair user, (well, most of the time :)) I decided it was a good idea to be insured, if nothing else, for third-party. We all know there are people out there that will do anything to make a buck or two. Anyway, a few of my friends recommended Fish.
So I rang them up yesterday to get a quote as I found their website to have a few flaws:
Didn’t have my make and model of wheelchair
When you click on “Get Your Quote” you are taken through the steps to “purchase” the insurance.
It turns out Fish did actually have my make/model of wheelchair but was just not showing up on the website. This flaw could possibly invalidate your insurance if you haven’t selected your correct wheelchair.
The first man I spoke with was helpful but sounded rather bored and like he really didn’t want to be there. I didn’t feel confident in going any further with my enquiry or even purchase, so I told him I would ring back later. Which I did do. The second man I spoke with was very nice and very chatty, actually, it got to the point where I thought I was never going to get off the phone but nonetheless, I did. He answered all my questions and I was happy enough to go ahead and purchase the insurance.
At the time of taking out my insurance, here are a couple of the things they cover:
Loss or theft Up to £7,000
Third-party liability Up to £2m
Contingent liability of Up to £2m
Personal accident Up to £3,000
Worldwide cover (including baggage handler cover) – Excludes liability cover in North America & Canada (Up to 21 days)
Please remember, insurance companies are always changing/updating their policies, so the above may be different if/when you enquire/purchase yours.
A couple of points to remember:
Make sure you tell them if your wheelchair is manual or electric
If your wheelchair is NHS or privately owned – Each have their own pricing
Make sure you pick the correct option for your wheelchair/scooter – You don’t want to invalidate your insurance
Spectra XTR2: Electric Wheelchair Review -Electric wheelchairs or any type of disability aid are designed to make our lives easier and make us more independent. I would be house-bound and unable to have any kind of life outside my home without my electric wheelchair. The simple task of making a drink would be impossible. I share my review of my electric wheelchair.
I got my Spectra XTR2 electric wheelchair via the NHS, so, unfortunately, I can’t tell you about all the different specs that are available for this chair. The only thing I am aware of is the seating and backrest. I know there are a couple of options for these.
I’ve had this chair now for approx 7 months and the first thing I should mention is the fact it has a solid seat base, not a canvas seat. This makes the suspension really bad, especially for people with back issues. According to Invacare, they say “High torque motors and a unique suspension design provide a smoother, easier ride”. Rubbish, from my experience!! I feel every bump I go over. I have wooden thresholds in my home (yeah I know, doesn’t make sense for a wheelchair adapted property) and I am jolted every time I have to go over one. Only yesterday I went into a shop that had a step of bout half an inch and I felt I was gonna be thrown out of my chair because of the jolt I got. Really hurt my back and chest. With a solid seat, it is essential to have a very good cushion to protect your coccyx.
I have had my suspension springs changed for softer ones and so far this has made an improvement. There are different levels of springs:
Orange – Normal
White – Hard
Black – Very hard
Black – Xtra hard
I now have the Orange ones. I do still feel the bumps but at least they feel softer and not so jarring through my body!!
This chair also has tilt and recline. This is pretty cool, especially when watching TV or at the cinema. Most wheelchair spaces at cinemas are extremely close to the screen so watching a movie plays havoc with your neck. Having tilt & recline is a godsend for this, especially if you have the headrest, oh yes it can come with one of those too.
The arm-rests that came with my chair offered no real comfort. The padding was so low grade you can feel the wood inside. So if you’re like me and use the arm-rests to transfer, then you are going to need more padding or new arm-rests.
The battery life is not what I expected. I was told this chair is compared to the Storm. Sorry but this chair doesn’t even come close to the Storm, (yes, I had one for 4 years). So don’t be fobbed off. According to different websites, you’re supposed to be able to get 30km (18.6411 miles) out of one charge. I charge my chair all night, it came with a new type of battery charger where it shows you if it is half charged/fully charged. My charger always says it is fully charged, yet, I just don’t seem to get much out of it before needing to charge it again. I certainly don’t get 30 km, that’s for sure. My previous chair (Harrier plus) seemed to do a lot more per charge. It only needed charging approx every 2-3 days, regardless of where I went. This chair doesn’t seem to want to do much work. I know tilt/recline will use the battery but in all honesty, I use them hardly at all.
I was extremely unhappy with the battery performance and nervous of going any kind of distance, so I contacted my wheelchair service and they agreed that the distance my chair was doing, was not normal. They arranged for me to have new batteries (the heavy-duty ones) and boy, the difference is staggering! I would now say 30km is probably possible, (not put that distance to the test) but more than suitable for my needs.
The ride is now more comfortable than it was before since my springs were changed. If you look at the picture above, you will see that chair has orange springs on the side. My chair had the white ones but now I have the orange ones. Looking at the picture again, I see the two front wheels look somewhat more luxurious than the ones I have. Hmmm, I think this chair could possibly be a lot more comfortable than what I have got!!!!
When having my springs changed, it was also agreed that my front wheels/castors would also be changed. I now have the front wheels shown in the image above. This has now made most bumps a lot softer feeling. Before every bump seemed to jolt right through my body and it was like my front wheels went down with a massive thud. Not any more.
The backrest I have has adjustable straps. Meaning I can tighten or loosen them to give more or less support in my back. The chair has about 5 straps, so getting the right support in the right place is fairly easy.
In my opinion, this is a good chair and great for outdoor use. The batteries (heavy duty ones) will get you around effortlessly and give you 5-7 miles distance easily, (this I have put to the test). Tilt & Recline offer many seating positions so getting comfy should not be a problem…..Just make sure you know what specification your chair will have when ordering.
If you liked what you have read and would like to work with me don’t hesitate to Contact Me. Feel free to leave a comment below.
Pill Time – Home delivery pharmacy service of medication. Are they any good? According to PillTime’s website: “PillTime does everything your high street pharmacy does while making your life more convenient and medication easier to manage.
“We get your prescription from your GP, pre-pack your medication by the dose into clearly labelled pouches and deliver it to your door – as easy as that”.
As easy as that they say……Hmmmm, not my experience that’s for sure. Many of you may be thinking exactly what I thought. What a great idea, no more running to the chemist, or asking family to collect your prescription. Things don’t always go as we plan. For those of you that are interested here is my experience of PillTime.
I spoke to pill time initially to join their service. I gave them all the information regarding my medication etc. When and what I take during one day. My first batch arrived with lots and lots and lots of pouches.
I had two pouches for my morning tablets, presumably because of the number of pills I have to take, they wouldn’t all fit into one pouch with the information that is printed on the pouch. I had several pouches for lunchtime, although, I only have one pill to take at lunchtime so that seemed weird and then I had about four or five pouches for the evening and bedtime. So, I phoned pill time and told them exactly what I would like in each pouch, which should leave me with 4 pouches a day. Two in the morning and one each for lunch and evening/bedtime. So I awaited my second batch.
I received an email informing me that my next batch was due and if there were any changes to please phone them as soon as possible. I knew I had already contacted pill time previously, regarding my medication so had no reason to contact them now.
Approximately 10 days after receiving this email, I received a phone call telling me my doctor had not given my full prescription, therefore they had to chase up the rest of my prescription. This would not cause any issues and my medication would be dispatched to me within the next 48 hours. This I believe was on a Monday. I explained that I was a bit concerned as my meds ran out on Thursday, I was told this would not be a problem as my meds would be with me by Friday before 1pm.
I received another call from PillTime on the Friday, informing me that one of their machines had broke and my meds missed the post. I was assured that my package was already boxed and ready to go and would be with me by Saturday, again, before 1 PM. I brought up the fact that my meds had now run out and I had no meds for that day. The lady explained that she was aware of this and had spoken with the pharmacists and they told her although it wasn’t the best thing to be doing it should not cause me any problems missing my medication for one day…..Hmmm not happy at this point and somewhat concerned as I had no meds.
Early Saturday morning, yes you guessed it, I received yet another phone call from PillTime. Would you believe it, they were telling me again due to some sort of issue my meds had missed the post. I asked, “what a second time”? The lady was quite shocked and asked has this happened before? I explained yes, yesterday. I was assured my medication would be with me yesterday before 1 PM. Now today you’re telling me exactly the same thing, how can this be the case when I was told previously my medication was already boxed and ready to go in the post? Obviously she had no knowledge of this. She apologised and said this is unacceptable. I totally agreed with her and explained once is a mistake twice is more than a coincidence but with all of that in mind, my main concern was being left without medication, therefore, what was she going to do about it?
She explained I had two options, option one was to wait until Monday for my pills to reach me or option two she can release my prescription back onto the NHS online service so I can go to my local pharmacist and get my prescription. This would be the easiest option as all she had to do was click a few buttons to get my prescription back on the system. Yeah, again a simple task, what could possibly go wrong this time? I gave it about an hour or two and then went to the chemist, (you’ll love this bit). PillTime had not put all of my prescriptions back online, therefore the chemist was unable to dispense my full prescription. So I had my medication and now still had to wait till Monday before I could get in touch with the doctor from the rest of my prescription.
If you liked my blog, why not sign up to my Newsletter so you never miss a beat, or leave a comment below. If there is anything you would like me to blog about, don’t hesitate to Contact Me.
Adjustable Bed. Can It Give Disabled People A Good Night’s Sleep? – Comfy or just a gimmick? Having a disability can make having a good night’s sleep seem impossible. I bought an adjustable bed recently and thought I’d share my thoughts with you.
My old bed was so full of lumps & bumps, I woke every morning with terrible pain all over my body, especially my back and I felt I had been fighting in the boxing ring. So I knew it was time for a new bed and especially a new mattress. We (hubby and I) searched online for what we were looking for and found the adjustable bed frame (pictured left) on Dreams website. This was a bed frame that came with a built-in TV and was adjustable at both the head and feet. I felt so posh!!
We then had to look for a mattress to go with it. We tested a few in the store and chose a firm mattress. Although it was a “Firm” mattress, being a memory foam mattress with over 2000 micro pocket springs, it didn’t feel rock hard. The softer ones felt like they were grabbing me and sucking me into the bed. This made turning over in the bed and trying to get on/off the bed very difficult. So, we went for the mattress Hyde & Sleep Hybrid Raspberry Mattress. We were told this mattress was compatible with the adjustable bed frame we had chosen. (Make sure you check as not all mattresses are compatible). So we went ahead and ordered the bed frame and mattress.
We were told it would take 6-8 weeks for delivery, (it actually took 10 weeks) we were somewhat disappointed at the quoted time frame as we were quite desperate for a good night’s sleep but what else could we do? (We were actually getting a good deal with the offer they had at the time).
The time finally came that our bed was being delivered. The delivery guys were wonderful. They took all the boxes up to our bedroom and laid them on the floor in the order they were to be assembled. This made it much more simple to put the bed together.
Hubby put the whole bed & mattress together in 3 hours by himself but needed help in moving the whole thing into position as it now weighed a ton. It is recommended 2 people build it together but it can be done by 1. Now, one thing to remember! The bed frame offers two heights, not something told by staff in-store or on the website. We only found this out once we started to assemble the bed. I decided to go for the higher height due to how I transferred onto the bed from my wheelchair. Once assembled, the bed frame is solid and feels extremely sturdy, with no wobble whatsoever!
The delivery guys advised us to let the mattress breathe for a couple of hours before putting on any bedding, they said sometimes the mattress can smell, which is perfectly normal. After a few hours, all was well.
I have to admit, being able to raise my head slightly to sleep is a major benefit for me due to my Vertigo, this lets me lie on either side without feeling dizzy! In all fairness, I would say the only downside for me is when you raise the backup to watch the TV. I have to put the back up practically vertical to see the TV and then you are pushed down the bed as the back-rest raises up making you sit even closer to the TV.
The mattress is extremely comfortable. You feel like you just sink nicely into it and every part of your body is being supported. The mattress needs rotating head to toe once a week for the first 3 months, then every month after that.
Easy to assemble
It is a big bed frame – Make sure you have space.
Heavy – So once assembled, very heavy to move around
When raising the head section, it pushes you down the bed as it seems to bend in the middle of the bed rather than nearer the head.
Not VAT Exempt as this bed frame is not aimed at just disabled people.
We found that if you raise the back up a little, it has a tendency to fall flat throughout the night. Also, if you lean too hard on the backrest, it can also lower to the flat position.
We have also removed the TV from the foot of the bed and hung it on the wall. It was just more hassle than it was worth to fight when trying to find a good position to sit/lay in while watching. Also, if you raised the foot at all, your feet blocked your view anyway.
If you liked my blog, why not sign up to my Newsletter so you never miss a beat, or leave a comment below. If there is anything you would like me to blog about, don’t hesitate to Contact Me.
Fault After Fault: Wessex Through Floor Lift:I am a full-time wheelchair user, I have a Through Floor Lift (TFL) to enable me to get upstairs in my home. This lift was installed by a company called Wessex on the request of my housing association: Notting Hill Genesis. This lift has given me nothing but problems after problems since day 1. I have been living in my property for 12 years at the time of writing this.
I never dreamed it possible to ever be able to live in a “house” as a wheelchair user. I believed I would only ever live in a single level property, so when I was offered a house, I was both ecstatic and shocked. When I went to view the property, I realised there would be a through floor lift to enable me to get up and down the house. This lift was supplied by Wessex Lifts.
So there I was all those years ago in a new property with a through floor lift and thinking I was very posh, haha. Unfortunately, this euphoria was not meant to last as I was plagued with nothing but problems with this lift. I had to make phone call after phone call to Notting Hill, reporting fault after fault.
Here is a list of some of the problems I had with my first lift:
The first problem, which happened most of the lifespan of the lift, (10 years) was the door not having enough power to close onto the latch. The engineer came out and seemed to fix the problem. A couple of days later, the same problem occurred, so yet again, I phoned my housing officer. You guessed it, another engineer visit. Again, the engineer seemed to fix the problem and go away. This happened repeatedly, eventually, the problem was indeed fixed. The main issue with this problem was, if the door wasn’t shutting, I couldn’t use the lift, therefore having to sleep on the sofa downstairs. Something that happened quite often!
My TFL would sink approx half an inch to an inch overnight. This meant the lift was not fully in the “Up” position, so, once I entered the lift in my Electric Wheelchair, the extra weight would make the lift sink further, making it impossible for the door to close. Once again engineers came out, scratched their heads, fiddled about, went away, came out, scratched their heads, went away, you get the picture. Eventually, the problem was fixed several months down the road.
This fault was by far the longest to fix. This took years to fix. In the end, one of the head engineers from Wessex themselves had to come out and have a go at fixing this one!! As I travelled down in the lift, the safety under-pan (that detects any objects under the lift and if so, stops the lift from travelling any further) would seem to get stuck to the bottom of the lift, then violently break free and drop into place. Sometimes, stopping the lift altogether. I can’t remember how many times the engineers were sent out to fix it but I can assure you, it was a lot more than it should have been. Even top managers were called out because no one could seemingly fix the problem. It did eventually get sorted.
The most frightening fault had to be the one where we had come home from doing our shopping and found the lift about to catch fire. Yes, I said fire!! We came in the front door and my lift is directly opposite on the other side of our hallway. I saw a lot of smoke coming from the left side of the lift, which is up against a wall. The smell was like burning rubber. My husband very quickly went to the cupboard to switch off the lift and all electrics and immediately called for an engineer to come out. He came out but had to order a new part. The solenoid switch is what almost caught fire. So again, another night having to sleep on the sofa. I ended up sleeping on the sofa for a few nights.
It’s hard to explain just how a person’s daily life is affected when adaptations do go wrong. As good as these adaptations are, when they do go wrong, you are left stranded, unable to do the task they were supplied for. So obviously this meant I couldn’t get upstairs, which in turn meant I couldn’t go to bed, which in turn meant I had to sleep on the sofa. Now, this wasn’t the first time this had happened, there were times before when a fault could not be fixed on the spot, or a part had to be ordered, I’d have to sleep on the sofa every time. This would make my Scoliosis much worse and the pain unbearable. I would wake up sore and stiff every time.
In one of the very few services that my lift got. (I was unaware my lift should have been serviced every 6 months. My lift was not serviced every 6 months). I was told the lift needed a new roof to meet new health & safety regulations. Then realising my lift was over 10 years old at the time, it was decided it would be more cost-effective to replace it with a new lift altogether. At last, some common sense!
Well, I won’t bore you with ALL the drama that happened but I will tell you that I contacted my housing officer at the time, her boss and her boss also, explaining how I didn’t want to be stuck with the same lift due to all the problems I had endured with my last lift.
I ended up having to make a formal complaint. You wouldn’t believe how this brought to light the number of mistakes that were made regarding servicing, engineer reports and the lack of engineer reports, my housing officer not reporting key facts, lack of duty of care. The list was truly endless!
New lift survey
Several companies came out to take measurements, photos etc, so they could then give Notting Hill a quote for a new lift. Can you guess what they went with? Yep, the same bloody lift!! Can you believe after all my complaining, begging, formal complaint, they chose the exact same one!! Talk about throwing good money after bad. Brainless!!!
So, now I’m on my 2nd Wessex TFL of the same make/model (installed Oct 2016) because Notting Hill decided the best option was to give me the same lift that had all the above faults and plenty more. Ignoring ALL my pleas to have a different one. How nice of them eh?
Well, what can I say…….2nd lift and within literally 2 weeks the same faults happening all over again!!!!! You really couldn’t make this up!
Lift door not closing, not fixed – Took 4 years to finally fix it
Underpan sticking. Not fixed – Did eventually get fixed
Grinding noises. Fixed.
Dropping overnight. Found to be heat-related. (Actually, it turns out this was incorrect as it happened repeatedly all year round) – Update: It was a faulty pump (more on that in a bit).
Door not shutting level, therefore not closing onto the latch. Just bounces off the latch and opens – (I have to get back out, close the door, send the lift up a few inches, bring it back down and try again). Took over 4 years to fix – Wessex had to come and take the lift off the wall, take it appart, raise the level of the floor to make the lift sit higher – This seems to have fixed the issue.
I got trapped in the lift half way up going to bed, approx 2 hours to be released – Turns out a corregated pipe got trapped behind the lift causing the lift to stop in it’s tracks.
Numbers 4 & 5 have been happening for past 6-8 months. 4 & 5 have since been resolved. 5 is still being investigated by Wessex themselves as again no-one else can fix the issue. It would seem even Wessex themselves can’t fix the problem….No surprise there then. An engineer came out to fix both issues of lift dropping and lift not sensing the door is closed/locked. So now waiting for another/same engineer to come out again. Nearly two weeks now since my regular engineer said he would report it back to Wessex.
The list just keeps growing and the problems ongoing, as soon as one is fixed, another one rears its ugly head. The worst part though, is I continually live in fear of going out and coming home and again finding the lift almost on fire, or god forbid worse.
Listen to the engineers
Very recently, I found out that an engineer (outside of Wessex) had been telling (the powers to be) that the problem with the majority of the faults on my lift was down to the pump. Explaining that the pump was not doing whatever it needed to do correctly with the hydraulics, he had been telling them this for over 2 years! I SUFFERED SLEEPNESS NIGHTS, PAIN, BEING TRAPPED IN THE LIFT etc. all because the powers to be didn’t want to spend the money on a new pump as it was NOT cost-effective? Yet it was cost-effective to keep sending out engineer after engineer (and paying for this) who were NOT fixing the issues??
Listen to the engineers, they ARE NOT beneath you, they are the ones visiting the client, seeing the issue/s in person, not you, sat behind your desk thinking you’re something special!!! And councils/housing associations can’t understand why they are short of money?? Couldn’t run a piss up in a brewery spring to mind!!!
Is this really how one should have to live? Oh, hang on…..We are only disabled people, what do we matter!! All because Notting Hill Genesis (previously known as Notting Hill) wants to save some money but in all fairness, what are they saving when they have to keep paying engineers to keep coming out and try to fix the problems??
Would I recommend this lift? NOT BLOODY LIKELY!!
Would I recommend Wessex? NOT BLOODY LIKELY!! What I can’t understand is this, both lifts (old/new) have presented exactly the same faults and in the same order?? Wouldn’t this suggest this Wessex lift has a design/manufacturing fault?? If so, why are Wessex ignoring this? After all, I tell everyone and anyone willing to listen to me about this awful lift.
Although I would have to say the majority of Notting Hill Genesis’s contracted engineers sent out to me, I would recommend even less!!! Some of them literally just came out, banged a couple of things and then left.
If you liked my blog, leave a comment below. If you would like to work with me or anything you would like me to blog about, don’t hesitate to Contact Me.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.