Community Events and Resources for Wheelchair Users in the UK

Living with mobility challenges can be demanding, but the UK boasts a wealth of resources and community events tailored specifically for wheelchair users. These initiatives not only provide valuable support and information but also create opportunities for social interaction, advocacy, and personal growth. Here at Karma Mobility we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to some of the most notable groups and events across the UK that are making a significant impact so you can access the support you need in one convenient place.

Community Support Groups

1. WheelPower

WheelPower is a national charity dedicated to providing opportunities for disabled people to play sports and lead healthy active lives. They offer a range of sports and physical activities for wheelchair users of all ages and abilities. Their flagship event, the Inter Spinal Unit Games, brings together newly injured spinal cord patients from across the UK for a week of sports and rehabilitation.

2. Scope

Scope is a disability equality charity in England and Wales that provides practical advice and emotional support to disabled people and their families. They offer a variety of online and in-person support groups, including those specifically for wheelchair users. Scope’s forums are a great place to connect with others, share experiences, and find support.

3. Disabled Living

Based in Manchester, Disabled Living is a charity that provides advice about equipment and services for disabled people. Their Kidz to Adultz exhibitions are the largest free events of their kind in the UK, showcasing the latest products and services for disabled children and young adults. These events offer a valuable opportunity for wheelchair users and their families to explore new innovations and meet other people in similar situations.

Advocacy and Support Networks
Advocacy and Support Networks

1. The Spinal Injuries Association (SIA)

The SIA offers support to people with spinal cord injuries, promoting inclusion and quality of life through advocacy, advice, and education. Their network of support groups across the UK provides a platform for wheelchair users to connect, share experiences, and participate in peer-led initiatives.

2. Muscular Dystrophy UK

Muscular Dystrophy UK supports individuals and families affected by muscular dystrophy and related conditions. They offer a range of support services, including local Muscle Groups that meet regularly across the UK. These groups provide an invaluable network for sharing advice, experiences, and support with others facing similar challenges.

3. Back Up Trust

Back Up Trust is dedicated to helping people with spinal cord injuries regain independence. They offer mentoring programs, wheelchair skills training, and residential courses. Their courses, which include everything from skiing to work skills, are designed to challenge and empower participants.

Educational and Informative Events

1. Naidex

Naidex is Europe’s most established event dedicated to the disability and independent living sectors. Held annually at the NEC Birmingham, Naidex brings together over 200 exhibitors showcasing the latest innovations in mobility, accessibility, and assistive technology. The event features seminars, product demonstrations, and networking opportunities, making it a must-visit for wheelchair users looking to stay informed about the latest advancements.

2. Kidz to Adultz Exhibitions

As mentioned earlier, these exhibitions are crucial for wheelchair users and their families. They take place across the UK, including locations such as Coventry, Edinburgh, and Bristol. The events cover a wide range of topics, from education and employment to leisure and equipment, providing a comprehensive overview of resources available to disabled individuals.

3. Mobility Roadshow

The Mobility Roadshow is another major event focusing on products and services for disabled people. It offers a unique opportunity to test drive adapted vehicles, explore mobility aids, and learn about the latest innovations in the industry. The event also features workshops and seminars on various aspects of independent living.

Social and Recreational Events
Social and Recreational Events

1. Wheels and Wheelchairs

Wheels and Wheelchairs is a unique group based in London that combines wheelchair users and rollerbladers for joint outings around the city. It’s a fantastic way for wheelchair users to enjoy the outdoors and stay active while socialising with a diverse group of people. Their events are inclusive, fun, and promote a sense of community and adventure.

2. Wheelchair Rugby

The UK has a vibrant wheelchair rugby scene, with clubs and leagues operating across the country. Organisations like GBWR (Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby) offer opportunities for people of all skill levels to get involved, whether as players, coaches, or volunteers. Wheelchair rugby is a fast-paced, thrilling sport that enhances teamwork, physical fitness, and camaraderie.

3. Adaptive Sailing

Organisations such as Sailability, a program run by the Royal Yachting Association, provide opportunities for wheelchair users to experience the freedom of sailing. With locations across the UK, Sailability offers accessible sailing experiences, training, and competitions, enabling participants to enjoy the water and develop new skills.

Online Communities and Resources

1. Disability Horizons

Disability Horizons is an online magazine and community platform that provides news, stories, and resources for disabled people. They cover a wide range of topics, from travel and lifestyle to technology and careers, offering practical advice and inspiring stories. Their online forums and social media groups are great places for wheelchair users to connect and share information.

2. Able Magazine

Able Magazine is another excellent online resource, offering news, reviews, and articles on a variety of disability-related topics. Their website features a dedicated section for wheelchair users, including product reviews, travel tips, and lifestyle articles. Able Magazine also highlights upcoming events and exhibitions that may be of interest to the community.

The UK is rich with resources, events, and support networks for wheelchair users, offering countless opportunities to connect, learn, and thrive. Whether you’re looking for practical advice, social interaction, or ways to stay active, there’s something for everyone. By participating in these groups and events, wheelchair users can build strong communities, access vital support, and lead fulfilling lives.

Engaging with these communities not only provides essential support and resources but also enhances a sense of belonging and empowerment. So, explore these opportunities, get involved, and discover the supportive environment that Karma Mobility and others create.