Jamie, who has Cerebral Palsy, has movement and speech difficulties so uses Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) to talk to his family and friends. AAC includes a range of solutions such as picture boards and sophisticated computer-based systems that help people communicate if speech is a struggle. This system was introduced to Jamie through Communication Matters which made a tremendously positive impact on his life.
The charity supports people of all ages, promoting the best possible communication for people with little or no clear speech and aims to involve ACC in everything it does. However, like many charities currently, it is facing an uncertain future and could close next year if urgent donations are not received. This has resulted in Jamie starting his fundraising campaign called ‘500 miles without a voice’ in the hope of raising £1,000 or more.
“Communication Matters will likely cease to exist next year – we cannot allow this to happen,” Jamie says. “I am a communication device user and the charity means a lot to me and others in the AAC community. So, I am going to spend August raising awareness and funds by driving my TGA Breeze S3 and S4 scooters for 500 miles. I do not have my communication device on them so I will be going 500 miles without a voice.
“I absolutely love riding my mobility scooters as they go off-road and are very sturdy and comfortable,” he continues. “I have the GT versions with wider rear wheels on the back and can do 30-miles on one charge. I am swapping between scooters, charging each one in between journeys, so I can keep going all day to clock up loads of miles. All my rides are being tracked on the Strava app and posted on Facebook with links to my Just Giving page.”
Jamie has been an avid fan of TGA for over 15 years and his scooters are fitted with accelerator pedals and supportive seats. “My TGA scooters are the best, they have changed my life,” he says. “Being able to get outdoors and enjoy the beautiful countryside near me massively helps my mental health. I can trust their performance, so I have peace of mind when driving off into the middle of nowhere. I got my new Breeze S3 recently, which is the latest model, for extra manoeuvrability if I am going into town. I have fitted cup holders on the tillers which are so useful on longer journeys. By using both scooters I hope I can drive as far as possible and raise as much money as possible, so please donate to my Just Giving page – the survival of Communication Matters is vital for so many people to continue communicating. I’m doing this for them.”
You can find Jamie’s Just Giving page, here.