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Freedom Wheelchair Skills

Freedom Wheelchair Skills

We met up with Stuart Wheeler, the founder of Freedom Wheelchair Skills, to learn more about his business, what he gets up to on his day-to-day and what his advice would be for new wheelchair users.

At age just 17, Stuart became a T4 paraplegic after a serious car accident. However, Stuart doesn’t let his disability get in the way of living his best life. Now, a family man, running his own business, with various hobbies, enjoying an active life; head chef at home and doing the school run three times a week to name a few.

Stuart started up Freedom Wheelchair Skills after recognising the need for wheelchair skills training for individuals needing to use a wheelchair to help build their confidence. As a wheelchair user for 26 years, Stuart offers a first-hand point of view when it comes to using a wheelchair. Freedom Wheelchair Skills offers one-to-one training or group training (usually a group of 5). The one-to-one classes offer a more tailored experience. If there are certain journeys you aren’t confident about, these classes offer the perfect opportunity to skill-up and gain your confidence!

During one-to-one sessions, Stuart tailors each lesson to the individual user. He tells us how rewarding his job is and mentions how his training all comes from the heart.

Being a wheelchair user for a long time, Stuart is aware of how important it is to keep his upper body limbs healthy, so he understands what products best suit his lifestyle. He uses a TiLite wheelchair, which takes on everyday challenges as he is an active user.  Spinergy wheels for lightness and strength. Stuart also has a couple of wheelchair accessories, one of them being a Smart Drive which provides him some assistance, helping maintain the health of his shoulders. The combination of a FreeWheel and Smartdrive on his manual chair allows Stuart to roam rougher terrain and travel further distances.

We asked Stuart what advice he would give to a wheelchair user:

Keep active, keep busy, it’s too easy to get sucked into the monotony of day-to-day life not doing anything. But if you’re active and keep busy, life is better, life goes a lot easier. Take on those challenges and don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and there are always things that (even if you’re able-bodied) you won’t be able to over-come. Don’t get annoyed at yourself if you can’t over-come it and always ask if you need help; It doesn’t hurt and makes life a lot easier. If you’re struggling to do something, ask for help and do it with assistance it’s called verbal independence.

You can find Stuart’s website here – offering more info on the training sessions he offers, FAQ’s and video testimonials.

Watch our case study video with Stuart Wheeler! 

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