What it meant to win a new mobility scooter

Earlier this year, we ran an Instagram giveaway with our corporate partner, TGA Mobility. They caught up with our community winner, Sharron Baroudi, on what a new mobility scooter has meant for her.

After winning the prize, TGA Mobility arranged an appointment in her home to decide which scooter would be best for her. Living in a rural ex-mining town and wanting to stay active and independent meant she chose the Vita E scooter. It’s a bigger 8mph scooter, better suited for shopping and scenery.

Sharron said:

"Their customer service has been brilliant. Karl brought a Minimo Autofold, Maximo Plus and Vita E for me to try. We sat in the living room and he asked all about my requirements and I explained about the rough terrain in the woodland and wanting to get to Rother Valley Country Park. So we looked on Google Maps to make sure the scooter could make it there and back. Carl was so knowledgeable. 

"He showed me how to use everything and then he parked it in the garage for me. And then I got an email from Chelsea about a week after asking how I was doing with it. Fantastic customer service and follow up as well."

Find out more about how to choosing mobility aids that are right for you

Freedom and independence

Her prize is already making a big difference. Sharron said:

"I've been using it to get down and around the Co-op. Before I was relying on my daughter to drive me there. The scooter couldn't have come at a better time for me as she'll be leaving home soon to move in with her boyfriend in Gloucester. So, I'll have nobody to ferry me around apart from my husband at the weekend, but he works full-time, so he's always too tired to do anything anyway.

"I'll also be able to get to the next village, which is about two miles away where there's a craft butchers and a craft bakery. And I'm hoping to go out a bit further. The old scooter I had before didn't have enough range and kept breaking down. Whereas I've used my Vita E for over a week now and it's still fully charged."

Help with hobbies

Sharron was Chief Executive of a charity, before having to retire early due to her MS. Now she keeps busy with creative hobbies, like painting and crocheting small craft items (called amigurumi).

"I do Random Acts of Crochet and Knitting Kindness – there's a Facebook page for it, R.A.O.C.K. Lots of people all over the world do it actually. So at different times of the year I do lot of crocheting like at Easter. I'll make little eggs or chicks and I'll put an Easter egg inside them and put them around the village for the kids to pick up. And at Christmas I make miniature snowmen, miniature Santas, little Christmas trees and wreaths for children's parties.

"Also, now I have a scooter I can get to Aston Springs Farm for painting lesson again. I used to go there in a car with a friend however she moved away. I used to do watercolours mainly and want to get better. I paint in all mediums and have got all the kit but mainly I'm a crafter."

Dog walking

Sharron's new scooter will also help her enjoy time out and about with her two dogs. She explained:

"I have Astrid who is a two-year Beagle-Border Collie cross and Ollie who's nine and a Shih Tzu-Chihuahua-Jack Russell cross. At the moment we have a dog walker who comes three times a week as I can't walk far. But when it gets warmer I'll be able to walk them on other days and at the weekend.

"My Vita E is so quiet I should be able to train them to walk alongside. It's nothing like the one I hired on holiday in Cornwall last year, that was a real bone shaker and made so much noise. My husband walked the dogs on his crutches next to me but every time the scooter went over something it made a big bang and spooked our dogs."