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Sledge for a Disabled Child

Cerebra and Gordon Ellis Co create a Sledge for Disabled Children

It is that time of year and so we are all on the look-out for snow, and some of us have even had some!

Sledge for disabled child

The Cerebra Sledge has extra support but does not look out of the ordinary
Photo Credit: Gordon Ellis

Most children enjoy playing in the snow and children with special needs can often miss out on some of the activities, like sledging!
However we were pleased to find out that, Gordon Ellis & Co, a healthcare company has teamed up with Cerebra to come up with a new design. Creating a sledge for a disabled child to safely use needs a bit of thought and careful design. Working with the Cerebra Innovation Centre, Gordon Ellis have produced a robust enjoyable sledge so that children who need extra support do not lose out on enjoying the thrills of riding in the snow.

Cerebra and their Innovation Centre

Cerebra, is a favourite charity of ours, it was established to help enhance the lives of children with brain related conditions. Cerebra support research, education and directly support children and their carers.
Part of the charity is the Cerebra Innovation Centre (CIC) based in Swansea University. It has a small team of designers and engineers that are able to create custom made equipment and one off special designs for disabled children.

 CIC undertake many design projects initiated the members of the charity and develop, design and produce products to help in the daily lives of children with neurological conditions.

Some of the products are ‘one-off’ bespoke designs, and others are made in small batches. The way we have to make things because of the small numbers, require ingenuity in design and manufacture. We constantly strive to make the best products to the highest standards. Click to read more about this scheme

The idea for the ‘Special Needs’ Sledge

The Cerebra Sledge was initially designed as a custom option for Sarah, from Scotland. The original idea for the sledge started in 2010 when Cerebra were approached by a mum, Lynne, who asked for help getting her daughter Sarah out into the snow. Sarah’s wheelchair and buggy could not be used in the snow, so she had to wait indoors while all the other youngsters in the town went off to school playing and sledging and enjoying the experiences of snow. Cerebra saw the sensory input Sarah was missing by being unable to get out. Lynne had difficulties pushing a buggy through the snow and they felt trapped inside. Cerebra got help and funds from a small charity ‘Claires Project’ who paid for the Cerebra Innovation Centre to get a CAD (Computer Aided Design) system to design a sledge for Sarah.

The story of the design and the creation of the sledge then featured in Cerebra’s Newsletter. After this publicity, there were 100 families who wanted a sledge and these were made for the following winter.

Improving on the design

After that amazing success, the Cerebra Innovation Centre began talks to have the sledge made commercially. Cerebra’s small team wanted to make the sledge more widely available and contacted Gordon Ellis, a reputable healthcare company known for creating their own aids to independent living. They improved on earlier versions by getting feedback from existing sledge owners and children. The sledge now features an adjustable back so it can fold flat for transport and has two angles to choose from. It also has foot plates so that the child or parent riding on the back has a protected place to put their feet. It looks very much like a normal sledge so is not stigmatising in any way, but has safety straps, a wider seat, armrests, a lower centre of gravity for balance and a safety leash.

Cerebra Sledge 2012

Special needs child on a sledge

Enjoying the Snow

 Gordon Ellis are now manufacturing and offering them for sale, which means that lots more children can benefit by getting hold of their very own adapted and improved sledge. The company offers a home delivery service and gives a donation to Cerebra for each one that is sold. An information video of the disabled child’s sledge can be seen below:

They have already had some lovely feedback from customers
 “It seems really well made and our son can’t wait to be able to use it. His little sister is also excited about her little seat at the back! Once again, thank you.”
two children on a cerebra sledge

Wooooooo!!!!

You should allow time for delivery as these special sledges for disabled children are made to order. You will also need to provide VAT exemption form. They cost £250. Unfortunately much more than commercially made mass produced sledges but they are a specially made high quality item, that we are sure will bring children lots of joy.

 

 

 

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