Ross Care

Celebrating International Wheelchair Day

Celebrating International Wheelchair Day

At Ross Care, we are privileged to see first-hand the impact the wheelchair can have on improving lives. As we celebrate International Wheelchair Day on March 1st, we're pleased to share a series of short reflections from our staff, Service Users & partners that highlight the positive impact of wheelchairs on individuals' lives. 

What is International Wheelchair Day about?

International Wheelchair Day was launched on 1st March 2008 by, Steve Wilkinson with three primary objectives.

1. To enable wheelchair users to celebrate the positive impact a wheelchair has on their lives. 

2. To celebrate the great work of the many millions of people who provide wheelchairs, who provide support and care for wheelchair users and who make the world a better and more accessible place for people with mobility challenges.

3. To acknowledge and react constructively to the fact that there are many tens of millions of people in the world who need a wheelchair but are unable to acquire one.

Ross Care’s Celebratory Video

YouTube Video snapshot of boy playing tennis in a powered wheelchair.
Watch the video on YouTube:


In celebration of International Wheelchair Day, we've put together a short video featuring seven different experiences. We asked participants to record their response to the question, ‘How has your wheelchair had a positive impact on your life or those you work with?’. Recorded in Norwich, East Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and Sheffield, these stories spotlight the diverse ways in which wheelchairs have helped support empowerment and freedom.

In the video, you'll meet Maddison, a bright young service user, and her mother, who share how Maddison's powerchair has not only boosted her confidence but also opened doors to new opportunities, including becoming the first disabled prefect at her school. Alex Gourney, one of our dedicated staff members and a wheelchair user for 25 years, shares how his wheelchair brings him freedom, comfort and safety, enabling him to lead an active social life and engage with his community.

Clive Bassant, our Community Liaison & Engagement Officer, describes himself as being able to lead ‘a truly independent life’ thanks to his powered wheelchair. His powerful words, ‘I am not wheelchair-bound, I am wheelchair-enabled, and I am wheelchair-liberated’ resonate strongly with the theme of International Wheelchair Day.

Andrew from East Sussex showcases his enjoyment of wheelchair tennis, while Peter, a service user of Kent and Medway Wheelchair Service, shares his journeys around the world made possible by his powered wheelchair. Simon, a family member from Hampshire & Isle of Wight, emphasises the essential role of wheelchairs in facilitating other people’s accessibility needs.

Dave Bramley, representing Wicker Independent Living, underscores the importance of tailored and high-performance wheelchairs, which often surprise customers as to the difference they make. Meanwhile, Tamsin Flint, Commissioning Manager for Kent & Medway Clinical Commissioning Group, highlights the broader societal benefits of improved mobility and accessibility.

Wheelchair Donation

As part of our celebrations, Ross Care will be donating wheelchairs to charitable organisations dedicated to enhancing accessibility globally, hoping to positively impact the lives of individuals with mobility challenges internationally, as well as locally.

Help Raise Awareness

On this International Wheelchair Day, we invite you to join us in celebrating the independence and freedom the wheelchair can bring. Please help us raise awareness be sharing this video.


Further Reading on the Origins of International Wheelchair Day

Steve Wilkinson was born in 1953 and diagnosed with Spina Bifida. He has used a wheelchair for most of his life and has been a full-time wheelchair user since 2000. During this time, Steve has campaigned for improved accessibility for people, like himself, who have mobility issues.

In 2012, after a lengthy lay off due to illness, he realised he was going to struggle to regain whatever strength he had in his leg muscles, so he became a full-time wheelchair user. It became increasingly clear that his wheelchair gave him freedom to get out and about, as it surely does with others. He felt this freedom should be celebrated, as it no doubt applied to almost every other wheelchair user in the world. Therefore, in 2008, I was inspired to create International Wheelchair Day on 1st March.

In the same way his wheelchair gives him freedom to get out and about and enjoy life to the full, International Wheelchair Day provides an occasion for the millions of wheelchair users around the world to celebrate the positive impact a wheelchair has on their lives.

 Those Who Contribute through Wheelchair Provision

It’s also an opportunity for those who provide help and support to make the positive impact of wheelchairs possible, to celebrate their contribution, too. This includes those who manufacture wheelchairs, those who assess the needs of wheelchair users, those who care for wheelchair users and those who ensure their buildings, products, and services are suitably accessible. According to the World Health Organisation, there could be as many as 100 million people in the world who need a wheelchair, but as few as 5 to 15% of them have access to a suitable wheelchair. While it is often developing countries where this is an issue, and many charitable organisations make great efforts to raise funds to provide wheelchairs, the developed world often lacks sufficient funding too [See the latest report from the Wheelchair Alliance]. This can mean someone has to use a wheelchair that is unsuitable for their specific needs. International Wheelchair Day is the ideal occasion to consider this issue and do something about it.

For more information on International Wheelchair Day visit:


 N.B. All videos were submitted & recorded with the permission of those featured. 

Add a comment

* Comments must be approved before being displayed.