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A conference in Belfast

Siobhan is staying at a hotel the night before a work conference

Watch Siobhan’s story

Watch and listen to Siobhan’s story in this short video, or read Siobhan’s story below.

Read Siobhan’s story

Planning ahead

Siobhan is staying at a hotel on the outskirts of Belfast. She usually travels with work a few times a month, and today she leaves the office an hour early to drive to the hotel in time to have dinner and finalise the presentation she is giving in the morning.

Siobhan has not stayed at this chain of hotels before, so she used an app when she made the booking, to check that the charging points would be accessible to her.


Siobhan parks up and drives her mobility scooter out of the back of her Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) and down the ramp, with her own charging cable looped around the arm of the scooter.

The car park is not busy, but she can easily stay out of the way of the few moving vehicles. The parking space has plenty of room for her to get out and wait behind her vehicle for the ramp to retract and the rear door to close.

I hope the charging points are easy to use – I really need to focus on my presentation

Starting to charge

Siobhan moves into the space in front of her vehicle and follows the simple lit-up instructions on the fast-charging unit. She has limited strength and her hands are stiff from the drive.

Although she is rapidly losing feeling in her fingers in the cold wind, she successfully plugs her cable into the sockets on the charging unit and the vehicle using both hands to hold the handle on each connector. Siobhan is really pleased with her new cable, which she chose because of its easy-to-use handles.

She is relieved to see that there is no sprung flap covering the socket on the charging unit, so she pushes the connector straight in and the socket is a less tight fit than some that she has used. The charging unit confirms that the cable is properly plugged in, and Siobhan starts to charge the vehicle.

Just five minutes after driving into the car park, Siobhan goes into reception to check in, and later, between checking her work emails, the charging app on her smartphone shows that her vehicle is still charging successfully.

Finishing up

In the morning, Siobhan goes straight to the space at the front of her vehicle, which is now fully charged.

She follows the instructions to unplug her cable, and feeling rested after a good night’s sleep, she uses just one hand to pull out the connector at each end of cable and then loops the cable around her scooter armrest.

Siobhan drives her scooter easily round to the back into her vehicle, enters via the ramp, and transfers to the driver’s seat. It occurs to her that, for once, she did not have to worry about whether her ramp access into the vehicle would be blocked in the morning.

She sets off to the conference with plenty of time to meet colleagues for coffee before the first talk.

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