Andy McIntosh, 42 from Strathaven near Glasgow, is a retired Army Corporal who despite living with severe mobility difficulties, has driven a TGA Breeze mobility scooter 100-miles to raise military charity donations on the 100th World War One anniversary.
Loaned by TGA Mobility and supported by Klyde Mobility, Andy drove an award-winning Breeze mobility scooter from Cresswell in Northumberland to the headquarters of Poppy Scotland in Edinburgh. Following an epic coastal journey, his arrival in Edinburgh was timed to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of the beginning of World War One - Armistice Day. He has raised funds and awareness for three military charities as a way of thanking them for supporting him and his family, namely Poppy Scotland, SSAFA and ABF The Soldier's Charity. As Andy struggles to walk, he managed this impressive distance over a period of three days thanks to a model of 8mph mobility scooter famous for winning the BBC Top Gear extreme mobility scooter challenge. Broadcast on BBC2, this mobility scooter, the TGA Breeze S4 GT, was driven up a summit in the Welsh Brecon Beacons by a disabled war veteran whilst racing against the Top Gear presenters. It successfully reached the pinnacle before the competing scooters by easily tackling rocky tracks and steep muddy slopes. Andy has now tested the TGA Breeze to the limit once more but this time in terms of battery range and product durability.
Andy comments: "The TGA Breeze was an absolute dream machine. It was so supportive for my back and even after the longest leg of 56 miles, I still felt so refreshed - it was more comfortable than sitting in my car! It provided 100 reliability all the way and I have complete confidence it will be the perfect scooter for me when I tackle John O'Groats to Land's End in May next year. When I arrived at Poppy Scotland it was so emotional for me as all the charity's staff were out to greet me along with children from an Edinburgh school and a large number of local workers. A military piper also played as I drove in which topped off this challenge perfectly. Everyone I have met on this incredible journey has been so supportive and donated generously to my three chosen charities - I would like to thank each and every one of them. I'd also like to thank both the scooter manufacturer TGA and the local retailer Klyde Mobility for all their support - without these guys this wouldn't have been possible."
Andy served in The Cheshire Regiment for 14 years experiencing front line action in Bosnia, Iraq and Northern Ireland. Originally from Manchester, Andy retired from the Army fully fit to pursue a new career, however in 2008 he received devastating news. Doctors discovered he had a very rare vascular condition that was increasingly affecting his circulation. As his condition and mobility worsened he asked to be referred to the UK's leading vascular surgeon, who, following years of tests, concluded that there was a potential solution. On the eve of Andy's 20-hour operation that could help him walk again, final tests revealed that this procedure would not be possible and could potentially be fatal. This has resulted in Andy coming to terms with a lifestyle governed by disability. Nevertheless he has now regained his verve for life and these TGA scooter challenges are the perfect focus for rebuilding his sense of achievement.
Daniel Stone, TGA Managing Director concluded: "The TGA team and I would like to fully congratulate Andy on his remarkable achievement. Bearing in mind the pain and mobility difficulties this veteran has to deal with daily, organising and completing this challenge must be commended. We believe the three charities Andy has raised funds for, namely Poppy Scotland, SSAFA and ABF, fully deserve the donations as their support of ex-servicemen and women is essential. Well done Andy and thank you for once again demonstrating the sheer strength, reliability and proven performance of our Breeze mobility scooter. We will be supporting Andy with his next 900-mile challenge in 2015 as we have total confidence in his determination and the reliability of our Breeze mobility scooter."