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All-terrain wheelchair: ‘My chair is my freedom’

A woman who raised funds for an all-terrain wheelchair, so she could access the Peak District home she loves so much, says it has liberated her.

Naomi Wheeler, 28, from Matlock, Derbyshire, has cerebellar ataxia, which affects her balance, coordination and speech.

Although Naomi was diagnosed with the condition at the age of 23, after noticing a change in the way she walked, she said her consultant had told her he had never seen the condition develop in that way before and was therefore unable to provide a more precise diagnosis or prognosis.

She uses social media to help raise awareness of accessibility issues for wheelchair users on rural walks.

Naomi said her chair makes her feel free – “like I can do whatever and I’m defying odds”.

Responding to the issues Ms Wheeler raised, wheelchair charity Whizz-Kidz said: “Whilst we don’t know the exact number of accessible routes in rural areas across the UK, we know first-hand that lack of equal access in all public spaces is a major problem for many and must be bettered.

“This change has to begin with consulting wheelchair users first.”

Video journalist: Chris Waring

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