The founder of Brighter Future Workshop, a social enterprise that trains young disabled people to recycle mobility equipment and then sells it on at an affordable price, will step down from his role as chairman due to ill health.
Peter Cousins MBE founded the organisation in 2005 and set up a workshop where young people are trained as mobility equipment technicians on donated items such as wheelchairs, mobility scooters and rise and recline chairs.
The recycled equipment is sold at a discounted price via the group’s trading arm, Brighter Future Mobility, to disabled people who might otherwise not be able to afford mobility aids.
Mr Cousins said that he is saddened to step down but does not want his health to have a detrimental effect on the long-term future of Brighter Future.
He told Champion: “Now at 70 I believe this is the right time for me to stepdown.”
“I am looking for a competent, dynamic person to take over my role and continue to develop Brighter Future Workshop; or we can also explore possibilities of either Brighter Future being taken over by or merging with another charity.
“Any constructive ideas are up for consideration to ensure the long-term continuity of Brighter Future to help people with disabilities through training, sales, service, repair or recycling of mobility equipment.”
Brighter Future recycled more than 35,000 pieces of mobility equipment in 2017 and achieved more than 100,000 training hours with its trainees.
The not-for-profit group’s trading arm is Motability-accredited and has accounts with major suppliers including the likes of Sunrise, Pride, Drive, Invacare, Kymco, Roma and others.
The group has won numerous awards since its foundation, including a Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development and says its main objective is to improve the lives of people with disabilities by providing them with opportunities to learn essential life-skills alongside basic vocational skills.
Brighter Future’s disabled trainees assist in the live hands on refurbishing, of the equipment, supervised by trained technicians. This training will help them to up-skill and remove barriers to community integration that they face, the group says. It has a safety engineer who checks the equipment to ensure it is safe and fit for purpose.