Chi Onwurah MP presents Motability Scheme keys to constituents in Newcastle
Chi Onwurah, Labour MP for Newcastle Upon Tyne Central, has presented the keys for Motability Scheme cars to local constituents Mollie Burns and Carl Fice. The handovers took place at the Lookers Volkswagen Newcastle dealership, Scotswood Road, on Friday 12 May.
Mollie Burns, 23, from Newcastle upon Tyne, is a qualified counsellor with an Advanced Diploma in Counselling and Psychology. She is currently studying for a BSC at the Open University.
Mollie has cerebral palsy and started using the Motability Scheme in August 2019. Her latest car, a Volkswagen T-Cross, is fitted with a boot hoist and a twin flip folding accelerator.
Mollie said the adaptations have increased her sense of independence and she’s able to drive others including her relatives, both young and old; “It’s a great thing to do for myself but also to help the people I love. When I’m in the car, no one else on the road knows I’m disabled so I’m just the same as everybody else. It’s a good feeling to have.”
Carl Fice, 47, is also from Newcastle and works as a Skills Facilitator at the Education Development Trust. Carl became a paraplegic 25 years ago, following a car accident in Germany, where he was serving in the Army. He has been a Motability customer since 2008.
Carl drives a Volkswagen Tiguan, which enables him to enjoy trips to the beach with his children. He said his Motability car means “I can take the kids out and do things on my own. I chose the car because I can put the wheelchair in the back without folding it, plus the kids and the dog. Having the car means I’m able to do my job. I can drive anywhere to meet new businesses.”
The Shadow Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, Chi Onwurah, said: “I am delighted to present Mollie and Carl with their new Motability Scheme vehicles in my constituency. There are around 830 people in Newcastle Upon Tyne Central who use the Motability Scheme to lease a car, powered wheelchair or scooter to retain their mobility and independence. I am so pleased to have been able to meet Mollie and Carl again today and to see how invaluable the Scheme is to them and their families.”
Barry Le Grys, CEO of Motability, commented: “We are delighted to organise the first MP constituency handovers since the COVID-19 pandemic here in Newcastle. We would like to thank Chi Onwurah for supporting the Motability Scheme, and Mollie and Carl for coming today to highlight what a difference having access to transport can make to disabled people. Over five million cars have been leased by disabled people since the Scheme began 45 years ago and we look forward to supporting many more in the future.”
Photography by: Paul Starr