Celebrating 40 Years of Motability

On the 25th April 2017, the 40th anniversary of Motability was commemorated by an exceptional celebration hosted by Her Majesty The Queen, at Windsor Castle – the world famous Royal residence in Windsor.

What Is Motability?

Back in the mid-1970s the government became increasingly aware that disabled people were struggling with transportation, it was restricting their freedom and severely impacting their quality of life.  The only available solution at the time was a small blue trike, given to those able to drive themselves; the size of the trike however, meant that its driver was unable to take other passengers and as a consequence many were entirely dependent on others for transportation.

In 1976 the first disability allowance was introduced in the form of a cash benefit, whereby recipients could put the money towards whichever form of transport they saw fit, be it a car, scooter or a taxi. Although the amount of allowance was in no way sufficient to buy or run even the cheapest of vehicles, it was from this initial idea that the Motability scheme as we know it today, was devised by Lord Sterling and the late Lord Goodman.

The Motability scheme is a registered charity organisation which has helped millions of people live better lives by providing them with the freedom of transportation, something which so many of us take for granted.

The Celebration

Her Majesty The Queen, has been chief patron of Motability ever since its initial inauguration, and has seen many advances and changes over the last 40 years. During the demonstration, The Queen learned more about the most significant technological advances and how these have made it possible for those with severe disabilities to remain mobile and lead independent lives. The Queen also showed the charity organisation great kindness with the following message:

“I congratulate Motability not only on reaching its 40th anniversary, but also during this time, how it has changed and enriched the lives of millions of disabled people, their families and friends by helping them to access a world of increased mobility and freedom.”

As part of the ceremony, The Queen presented five disabled people and their families with the keys to their new Motability vehicles, the five individuals included:

Paul Barrett – A Royal Marine veteran

Eckveer Ramburn – An 11 year old child

Edward Todino – A disability advisor from Kingston University

Olivia Wray – A student suffering from autism

Allan Carter – A Motability customer since 1978, Allan contracted polio at the age of 11

Chairman and founder of Motability, Lord Sterling delivered the following message:

“We are honoured and delighted that Her Majesty The Queen, our Chief Patron since our inception, was kind enough to host this event at Windsor Castle to mark the 40th Anniversary of Motability and the role it plays in providing ‘a road to freedom’ for disabled people and their families, as well as handing over the four and a half millionth vehicle on the Scheme. The unique partnership which makes up the Motability Scheme is sustained by many individuals who show such wonderful empathy in their efforts, such as those working in motor dealerships up and down the country, patrolmen providing roadside assistance to those who need it, and, of course, all those in the Scheme’s motor manufacturers, insurers, conversion and adaptation companies, and the staff of Motability and Motability Operations.”

Read the full article here: https://www.motability.org.uk/about-charity/latest-news-and-updates/motability-40th-anniversary