Spencer Howse-Macbeth, 13 from Old Windsor and who lives with Cerebral Palsy, has won a national magazine competition and is now the proud owner of a new Wheelchair Powerpack courtesy of TGA Mobility.
Spencer’s mum, Holly Macbeth, entered the competition in August on her son’s behalf as she is always seeking new assistive equipment to help him enjoy more from life. As Spencer has limited mobility and is unable to walk unaided, he needs to be pushed in an attendant-controlled wheelchair when at home or out for the day. Now he is a teenager, Spencer continues to grow at a significant rate so Holly and especially her mum, were looking for a powered solution to help manoeuvre him on a daily basis. Spencer’s Grandmother was unable to take him out for the day independently until the family recently won a new TGA Wheelchair Powerpack. The TGA Powerpack is a motorised unit that fits to the underside of a wheelchair and through its drive wheel, provides powered propulsion so pushing is strain free. Spencer and his family can now once more go out together without the stress and difficulties of pushing a manual wheelchair up slopes or across uneven surfaces.
Holly explains: “We are still ecstatic about winning this TGA Wheelchair Powerpack! I had been fundraising for a while to try and purchase one but the fact that this fantastic news came out of the blue means we can put the donations to another piece of equipment desperately needed. As I’m a single parent and the main carer for Spencer, I am unable to work so paying for specialist products is only ever possible through donations. Local people are so generous and their help always make such a difference to our lives, it is forever appreciated. However winning this prize is an extra bonus especially with the cost of Christmas coming. Spencer is always a happy lad, even more so now he has his Powerpack. He really enjoyed meeting Steve from TGA who came to fit it and we got some fantastic smiles from Spencer.”
Holly continues: “Now that we have started to use the Powerpack regularly, we see what a great product it is. It is simple to use and so easy to take on and off when needed. When we go out to Windsor or visit my mum Spencer travels in the back of my accessible VW Caddy in his wheelchair. The Powerpack helps propel Spencer up and down the car ramp and when we are out shopping we can negotiate kerbs without the previous hassle. The speed control is really handy. Our new Powerpack is going to make a huge difference through the six weeks summer holidays when Spencer is not at school as we are out and about so much then.”
Due to Spencer’s condition he needs a specialist wheelchair with extra postural and head support along with the ability to achieve a tilt-in-space position. The TGA Wheelchair Powerpack is a flexible design that is compatible with this type of wheelchair and was fitted by Steve Biscoe quickly at Spencer’s home. The Powerpack is operated via simple controls mounted on a wheelchair handle grip and provides a comfortable 4 mph top speed and 10-mile range.
Holly concludes: “Moving Spencer around home in his wheelchair is also so much easier with the Powerpack. We can get him in and out of his bedroom without straining as this is his favourite place to watch ‘Strictly Coming Dancing’. He absolutely loves this programme – it always makes him smile. We have bought him surprise tickets to see ‘Strictly Live’ in February next year, he is going to be so excited and I’m sure our Powerpack will be there to help make the evening even more pleasant.”
Donations to help Spencer achieve more from life can be given at: https://www.helpspencer.info/fundraising/