Behind the scenes at Permobil HQ! Ad

Thank you so much to Permobil for sponsoring this blog and trip!

If you follow my socials you may know that last year I traveled to Sweden to visit Permobil. I had the best time and want to make sure I tell you all the goss! I’ve posted a few things from the trip now working with Permobil but, I thought I’d round off the trip and share just some of my many highlights.

Flying for the first time 

When I was first invited to Sweden, I can’t lie the idea of flying was terrifying. I’d not flown in over 9 years and I just didn’t know how it would go. I’d heard so many horror stories of people’s chairs being damaged. I did so much research beforehand and wondered if this was going to be the same for me. But, it was just brilliant and a great way to dip my toes back in! If you’d like a full run down of flying, check out this video on tips to travel when using a wheelchair. If you’d like more information about travelling with your Permobil - check out their travel guide

Testing out the rail system in another country 

As you can probably tell, I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to travel now and I LOVE testing out new ways of transport. So when I was told I’d be getting a 3 hour train I couldn’t have been happier! It was so interesting to test out. I really was shocked by the difference I experienced compared to the UK. Everything was so much more relaxed. I could book the wheelchair space online (which isn’t something you can do in the UK) and accessibility was at the forefront of travel. I shared a video around this too, watch this reel if you’d like to find out more! But yes, all in all it was great to discover how train travel can look if accessibility is improved, not just physically bit attitudes too.

Meeting the Permobil Team

Once we got to the Permobil offices, it was so wonderful to meet the faces behind the company. Every single person I met was genuinely so kind. I had breakfast with the team when I arrived They welcomed me straight away and wanted to know about my experience with a Permobil wheelchair and even asked for my honest feedback. If you want to goss - I said that the button lights were quite bright (the green ones for those who get it). They took it on board and also later agreed when we were in a darker room ha ha. I even managed to meet the people who created my chair and upholstered customised foot plate. How wonderful!

Above is me chatting about all the chaos I get up to in my chair!

I then later gave a presentation on my own experience of disability and being a wheelchair user. I talked about how using my wheelchair is so natural to me. It’s not something I’m sad about but actually it gives me so much freedom to my life. I talked about how, instead of learning to walk like my peers - at the age of 2 years old I was driving around in circles whilst my dad was trying to encourage me to drive in a straight line. Same experiences, different ways! The team asked me some really thought-provoking questions and I’m really grateful they provided me with a safe space to share my genuine thoughts. 

Here's me doing my thing presenting my talk!

Behind the scenes in’t factory!

One of my FAVOURITE parts of going to visit Permobil was of course the factory! Just wow! I don’t know what I thought I’d see but it wasn’t what I expected. My dad used to work in a factory so I imagined a LOUD place that needed ear protectors and lots of drilling (lol). But it was actually the opposite. It was SO quiet and calming. Everything had a place and the system was meticulously organised. 

I was amazed to learn Permobil make on average 27 wheelchairs, A DAY! How amazing is that? Not only that but no wheelchair is quite the same. What I love is that each chair is customisable. While I was having a tour I was told that the features, size and comfort differ depending on who’s using the chair - which I think is just fab. This also is the reason I can be as independent as I am too. But more about that in another blog coming up…

As I went around the factory, I noticed some chairs had cartoon flame labels on them. I asked what this was and I was told this was a note to prioritise this order for people who’s needs are changing quickly and need asap. I thought this was a great (non-medical way) to communicate this message. 

It was just so fascinating to stroll around seeing all of the different types of chairs, knowing these would soon be the freedom for so many people around the world

Above here's me with just some of the wonderful team behind the scenes of Permobil

Thank you so much Permobil for inviting me to your HQ - it was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I’m so grateful my brother and I could experience. I’m so excited to travel more in my chair in the future and put it to good use!