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Thread: Disabled forest teacher ‘fulfils her passion’ thanks to off-road ‘motorbike’ mobility

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    Disabled forest teacher ‘fulfils her passion’ thanks to off-road ‘motorbike’ mobility

    Gini Mitchell, 49 from Folkstone and volunteer school leader, has been able to fulfil her passion for teaching children about nature thanks to an off-road TGA mobility scooter that can drive in the woods.


    Before teaching, Gini worked for MENCAP helping people with disabilities. She has always loved nature and after becoming a teaching assistant at the Martello Primary School, she set up her ‘Nature Fledglings’ classes in 2020. Gini did this to help disadvantaged and vulnerable families who were struggling to find safe outdoor activities during the pandemic as many playgrounds were closed. Her Saturday gardening group, which is now a Forest School funded by donations, helps children benefit from fun, learning and fresh air.

    Gini has a neurological condition which means she can only walk very short distances using sticks. To take her pupils into the woods she uses a Supersport which looks more like a ‘Harley Davidson’ motorbike than a mobility scooter. This robust TGA scooter has a black and chrome finish, three large wheels and a powerful motor so it can drive through mud and over grass.

    Her scooter has become vital for teaching the Nature Fledglings; not only for transporting Gini, but for carrying all her teaching equipment as she explains: “It’s surprising how much stuff you can get in the basket on the back of my Supersport. I have it piled up like a tractor with all my gardening tools, arts and crafting materials, first aid kit and hammocks. I drive into the woods with the kids so we can really get stuck into nature together. I teach them all about the environment, insects, growing and planting seeds, litter picking and we enjoy making woodland furniture and painting pictures. My scooter lets me fulfil my passion to get kids active and enjoying the world outside, getting dirty and climbing trees. I’ve been setting up community gardens for over 20 years, but this is the most rewarding by far.”

    Gini started looking into getting a mobility scooter a few years ago when her disability became too much to deal with as she explains: “I needed a big scooter that I could drive off-road. I was desperate to explore the countryside and get driving through mud and puddles. I did some research and came across TGA scooters in a BBC Top Gear video. I saw they had managed to get up the Brecon Beacons in Wales so looked into them. I’d also seen that the local farmer I know at Potten Farm had a TGA Supersport. It was his fifth Supersport and was his ‘workhorse’ for day-to-day jobs around the farm. Gosh it looked more like my Land Rover than any of the other all scooters I’d seen, this led to me buying one.”

    Gini’s Supersport is seen as ‘cool’ by her forest pupils and is a talking point for parents who appreciate her commitment. Gini concludes: “These nature classes and after school clubs have helped keep me and some families sane during the last 18 months, thank goodness for my Supersport! I’ve always wanted to give something back to the community and my scooter has enabled me to do this.”

    Away from her school volunteering, Gini is an accessibility volunteer for Kent AONB and National Trails. She is helping Kent County Council make local countryside walks, coastal paths and beaches more accessible for mobility scooter users whilst supporting promotional campaigns. Gini is also training to be an ‘experience maker’ which means she will be qualified to lead groups of tourists keen to ramble across Kent in an eco-friendly way.
    Last edited by TGAmobility; 17-01-22 at 10:12.

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