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The lecture will take place on Friday 6 October 2006 at 7.00pm in lecture theatre 8 West 1.1. Tickets are free but need to be reserved from Stephanie Marshall on 01225 383 659.

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Motivation provides people in developing countries with wheelchairs and mobility devices
Motivation provides people in developing countries with wheelchairs and mobility devices

Press Release - 25 September 2006

BIME lecture: the growth of an international wheelchair charity from scratch

One of the co-founders of the Bristol-based charity Motivation, which provides people in developing countries with wheelchairs and mobility devices, will describe how he and his team helped build an international charity from scratch at a free public lecture at the University of Bath next week.

David Constantine, a wheelchair user himself, founded Motivation in 1991 after he and Simon Gue, both Industrial Design students at the Royal College of Art, London, won the Frye Memorial Prize for their design of a wheelchair for the developing world.

With the prize money, David and Simon teamed up with Richard Frost and introduced their design to the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed in Bangladesh.

The Centre was so pleased with the design that the team were invited to establish a wheelchair workshop. They did this in 1991, after they had graduated, and Motivation was born.

Within two years Motivation's activities broadened to address the range of physical, social and economic needs of people with mobility disabilities in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe.

It is now the only international aid organisation that deals with the comprehensive provision of suitable wheelchairs designed specifically for the local environment. It also provides the associated training and education that helps the individuals who receive them to live with dignity.

The lecture is on Friday 6 October 2006 at 7.00pm in lecture theatre 8 West 1.1 on the University's campus.

“The United Nations estimates that there are 20 million people in the world who need a wheelchair but don't have one,” said Mr Constantine, who will be giving the 38th annual lecture of the Bath Institute of Medical Engineering, part of the University’s School for Health.

“A huge demand is being placed at Motivation's door. The ultimate goal is to reach a point where there is no longer a need for Motivation to exist, as we have helped local partners throughout the world to build their capacity to a point where they can independently meet the needs of their local communities.”

In the lecture, Wheelchairs and Widgets - the building of an international development charity from scratch, Mr Constantine will explain how the charity has evolved from a small organisation designing appropriate low-cost wheelchairs for the developing world, into an internationally respected non-governmental organisation that works under a broader remit to enhance the quality of life of people with mobility disabilities.


The University of Bath is one of the UK's leading universities, with an international reputation for quality research and teaching. View a full list of the University's press releases: http://www.bath.ac.uk/news/

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