Ollie Barber is an ordinary young mother of two who lives in Eastbourne, and she simply couldn’t believe it when she received a phone call from Constables Mobility based in Golden Cross near Hailsham, to inform her that she has won a chauffeur driven wheelchair accessible vehicle for a whole day as well as £250 to spend in a top restaurant.
Ollie took her prize on her birthday and had lunch at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant within Claridges following a trip on the London Eye. Entrants into the competition were asked to tell Constables Mobility why they, or someone they knew who used a wheelchair, deserved an extra special day out.
Ollie nominated herself because she wanted to take her husband out to lunch. One of the lines in her entry particularly caught the judge’s eye:We could just do with a break – a glimpse away from the toughness of our day-to-day life, and a day out like this would enable us to re-find our sparkle.
She said: “We couldn’t believe it when I heard I’d won – it’s a dream come true that I was able take Paul out for the day and really spoil him and show him how much I appreciate what he does for our family, and for me.
“Being a mum in a wheelchair is really difficult – and our baby was poorly in Eastbourne Hospital’s Friston Ward last year too, so life has been incredibly tough. We battle so much together – including people’s misconceptions that Paul must be my carer rather than my husband.”
Ollie and her husband Paul are both teachers with children aged one and three. She teaches young people who are too ill to go to school via video link and Paul teaches English. This year the couple had to fund a new stair lift and specially adapted pushchair which left no money for Christmas presents for each other this year.
David Constable, Managing Director of Constables, said: “We were so thrilled that Ollie entered and was brave enough to tell her story. We were very moved by her entry and were determined to make her birthday one that she will never forget.”
Coincidentally, although it is a national company, Constables Mobility is only a few miles away from where Ollie lives. One of the company’s drivers collected the couple from their home in a spacious Peugeot Expert and was available for the whole day.
Constables Mobility, which is based in Golden Cross, East Sussex, builds rear-access, wheelchair-accessible vehicles which are life changing for customers all over the UK. Visit www.constablesmobility.com