Gemma is one UK's leading motability journalists and host of the podcast 'First Impressions'. Together, Gemma and Peoples Ford are exploring and learning more about the accessible locations we have both on our doorstep and across the UK. Gemma, who is currently learning to drive with the Motability Scheme can't wait to get on the road. Take a look at where she's heading to once she has passed as inspiration for your next road trip.
Cadbury World is definitely up there on the list. I mean, who doesn’t love chocolate? This is somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for years now and just never got around to it. I’ve heard that it smells so good and is a great day out. I also have a few friends who live in Birmingham too so would love to meet them whilst I’m there.
White Rose Shopping Centre is my closest large shopping centre. This is on my list, not because of any specific shops but because it holds lots of dear memories. My mum and I used to go alllll of the time when I was young, especially during the school holidays. When you’re a wheelchair user, it’s sometimes hard to find places to go that’s accessible and has accessible facilities like toilets etc. So, when we discovered we could go for breakfast and have a mooch around for hours (yes, hours) it soon became a firm favourite. I’d love to be able to return the favour and take my mum this time.
Again, a very random one but a few years ago I boarded a Stena Line Ferry to Belfast and it was SUCH a good trip. As a wheelchair user, being able to board a ferry so easily was great. However, it would be amazing to be able to drive this time and have more freedom to explore places in my car. It’s always tricky (as many people will know) to find accessible travel when you’re in unfamiliar places - so this would be amazing!
On a similar note, for a long time I’ve always wanted to visit a cosy wheelchair accessible cottage with friends. However, it’s very rare that there is public transport once you get into the depths of quiet rural areas. So once I pass my test I can’t wait to be able to book a cosy cottage with some of my closest friends and have a girls holiday. They can’t wait for me to drive them either, they’re already planning the playlist!
And finally, it sounds silly but I’m actually so excited to just be able to hop into the car and go wherever I need to in that moment. If you’ve followed me online, you’ll know how difficult I and many other wheelchair users find it to be spontaneous - as transport mostly always needs planning. Being able to just roll into my car and get driving is one of the most freeing feelings. I’m sure the novelty will wear off very quickly the more friends and family ask me to “just pop round to pick them up”. I suppose they better take advantage of the honeymoon period once I pass!
Do you have any suggestions as to where I should go once I pass my driving test? Let me know!
You can view all of our Motability offers by clicking here. Don't forget, we understand the best way to become familiar with a vehicle and discover if it is suitable for your needs is to test drive. That being said, finding the time to take a test drive can be difficult. With Peoples Ford Test Drive to You we can bring the test drive experience to you at home or work.
If you are eligible for the scheme, Motability represents one of the best ways to enhance your personal autonomy, with superb value for money and specialist support for customers. No matter what your requirements may be, our team of experts are on hand to help answer any questions you have. Some of the great benefits include: