Influencer with disability discovers new world with WHILL - TGA Mobility
Please rotate your device.
25th January, 2024

Influencer with disability discovers new world with WHILL

Sandie Roberts from near Cirencester, non-binary disability advocate, creator and model, has discovered a whole new world of happiness thanks to a revolutionary WHILL C powered wheelchair.

Sandie’s an influencer. An inclusive fashion reviewer. A social content creator. And a queer non-binary advocate with a disability. They help change lives. That’s the lives of fellow people with challenges – offering support to inspire self-belief and self-worth. And educating that the world’s inaccessibility is the problem, not an individual’s inability to fit in.

Sandie fought to define themselves as having a disability until a stroke in 2019 added to a genetic condition, spinal injury and late diagnosed ADHD. It was time to come out. Time to express who Sandie was, unafraid to be a ‘sassy, confident and cheeky’ person. Body confidence modelling, public speaking and 30,000+ TikTok fans have followed. And Sandie’s ‘Shine Academy’ will soon add to these achievements – a confidence-boosting social and learning hub for neuro and ability diverse people. Sandie’s career is a success, but what about leisure? How have they broken down barriers to travel, especially worldwide? That’s where the WHILL C powerchair fits in.

Day-to-day Sandie is a doer. Driven to guide, inspire, educate and influence. They write about ‘living comfortably as a disabled person; including issues around sexuality, body confidence and mental health.’ Getting outside is one big piece of that well-being puzzle, as is travel. This is where their WHILL C from TGA is essential: “I create a lot of content about the importance of being outside. For me, it’s one of the biggest things for a healthy mind. I’ve been going through a really rough patch recently, feeling low and exhausted. It was a beautiful day yesterday, freezing cold, but beautiful, so I could have done nothing and sat on the sofa. But instead I got myself wrapped up in lots of layers and took myself outside in my WHILL.”

“Connecting with nature, hearing the birds sing and seeing the blue sky, actually any kind of sky, can help everyone. Or just sitting in the garden or looking out the window. Nature is like a healing balm for me. I can’t be without nature and encourage everyone to embrace the importance of being outside.”

The Cotswolds is home for Sandie and their husband; scenic surroundings they enjoy together with WHILL C and miniature Schnauzer, Lola. Happy times further afield are now just as easy. Whether taking the train or flying abroad, travel has become stress and pain free. Sandie’s mind has been released from anxiety and tension: “I get invited to lots of events in London and my WHILL C enables me to go by train. Even thinking about doing this in my manual wheelchair makes me shudder as I’ve got shoulder problems. Instead, I just zip over huge distances, it’s so full of ease. My WHILL has literally opened up my world.”

And then there’s easier flying. Take their last trip to Disney World, Florida, it was a revelation. “I’d been looking for a new compact powerchair. I didn’t want to take my big powerchair on a plane as I’d heard all the stories about them getting damaged and so was going to have to use my manual wheelchair. I’d been talking very vocally on my channels about how it was going to impact my holiday negatively. I saw the folding WHILL F first however TGA also suggested the WHILL C. In the end this was better for me and my joints as it had more suspension and still came apart for going in cars. It didn’t just help me, it helped my husband as he didn’t have to push me around. It really did make the difference between a carefree trip and a worrying trip.”

“When we were on holiday everywhere we went we said, ‘we can do that, we have my chair’. We were away for three weeks as we are huge Disney fans and despite there being a lot of cobblestones, my WHILL tackled them all. As the charger is so small, we took it around with us in our backpack just in case but in the end, it never ran out of battery.”

Sandie finds people are fascinated with the WHILL C. People see the design as different and want to know more. ‘Ooo, that’s a nice chair’ and ‘how does it turn on the spot?’ they say so Sandie explains about the omni wheels. When visiting Disney World, the WHILL provoked more interesting reactions: “People would stop me, even cast members, and they’d say ‘that’s the best chair I’ve seen all day’.”

So all-in-all Sandie and their WHILL C are a perfect match. Rolling with style, supportive and unique – a partnership that’s sure to strengthen as they continue to help others achieve their goals. Sandie signs off by saying: “Humans are incredible. We are imperfect. We are strong. We are powerful. And we can change the world.”

You can keep up with Sandie here: @therealsilverlinings and you can book a free no-obligation home demo with TGA Mobility here.

Related User Stories

Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.