2016 Paralympics Hopeful Gets EAG Motability Car

17-year-old wheelchair racer Joe Brazier was handed the keys to his new Motability car from Essex Auto Group by new CEO of the RSA Insurance Stephen Hester on 11th September 2014.

RSA handles accident management and insurance for the Motability fleet, as well as offering a bespoke home insurance product for Motability customers. RSA has raised £25,000 every year for Motability's charitable funds through events and sales of Motability Home Insurance – money that helps customers who cannot afford a vehicle or an adaptation. In the last year RSA redoubled its efforts to raise £55,200, which has funded a new assessment vehicle for Motability. These specially adapted vehicles enable Motability advisors to carry out vital home visits and transport customers so that their requirements can be assessed.

Student and wheelchair racer Joe from Basildon received the keys to his leased ŠKODA Octavia 1.6TDI Estate in London with his mother Alison. Joe uses a wheelchair permanently as he was born with hereditary spastic paraplegia. Although a Motability grant helped with his driving lessons in an adapted car and he's already passed his theory test, uncle Clinton Cook is the nominated driver of Joe's third Motability car.

The new vehicle has a semi-automatic gearbox, a push/pull brake and accelerator (with indicator switch), and a quick-release steering wheel ball for when Joe is able to drive. Leasing an estate car means that there's plenty of room for his wheelchair and racing equipment.

Once he has passed his test he'll be able to drive himself to college to study Sport and Leisure and pursue his dreams in wheelchair racing. Joe is currently the fourth fastest in the UK for his age group and has ambitions to compete at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. To get there means putting in the miles, both on the road and the track as he goes to training in Harlow and competitions around the country.

Joe said: “Without my car and the adaptations, I wouldn't have the chance to be independent, so I am very thankful to Motability."

While RSA Insurance and Motability have given him a great start, Joe is currently looking for corporate sponsorship and other funding for equipment and travel. We sincerely hope that such a driven athlete can make it to Rio!