Volunteer with Remap

A man in a red football shirt wearing a ski helmet attached to a VR headset and small webcam

Ian is blind, but his custom headset lets him watch his team play every weekend.

“Being involved in Remap has allowed me to gain satisfaction in both helping people and using my engineering skills to solve technical challenges. A life affirming experience!”

MakeAbility has been brought to you by Remap, a UK charity which pairs volunteer inventors with local disabled people to help them gain more independence and an increased quality of life. They do this by designing and tailor-making a piece of equipment for a specific person, using their knowledge and skills to provide help when there’s no commercially available alternative.

Our practical volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds, but they all share a talent for making things and a desire to use their skills to help others in their community. They provide ingenious solutions to problems like how to climb Snowdon if you use a wheelchair, how to watch a football match if you’re almost completely blind, or simply how to peg washing out on the line with the use of only one hand.

If you like problem solving and have a strong practical streak, we’d love to hear from you!

What does volunteering involve?

A lady sits in a wheelchair which has an extra wheel and handlebars at the front. A man crouches next to her

Fred adapted Rosie’s wheelchair so that she could take it up Snowdon with her.

“I contacted the local Derby Remap group who have been very welcoming and what a great group they are! We are all very focused on the best outcome for the person and making them as independent as possible.”

Our volunteers are organised into seventy groups across the country. They meet up regularly to share their projects and ideas, discuss new requests for help, and talk through what they’re planning to do next. The odd pub trip or two is often a part of the team’s planning process.

Between meetings, our volunteers get to meet the person they’re helping, often alongside a health professional to provide clinical input. Their job is then to solve whatever practical challenge is thrown at them by independently designing and then making a special piece of equipment. We also ask them to risk assess, provide basic documentation and take photographs of their project.

Volunteers do need somewhere to work independently on their projects, as we’re not able to provide workshop space. Often, they have their own tools in a garage or shed, or they may use community facilities, or they may have a supportive employer who is happy to give them access to their facilities out of hours. However you work, we’d be glad to have you.

How can I get involved?

A man sits at a desk, folding some paper

Remap volunteer, Colin, in his workshop

“I enjoy volunteering for Remap because of the variety of projects you can get involved in. And you couldn’t ask for a friendlier atmosphere!”

If you’re interested in volunteering with us and would like more information, please get in touch with our friendly team at central office by emailing volunteer@remap.org.uk or calling 01732 760209. We’ll have a quick chat about your background and experience so far, and will link you up with another Remap volunteer near you. They’ll invite you to visit one of their regular meetings and will introduce you to the rest of the local team.

There will be a local induction process where you are invited to share projects with a more experienced volunteer. Once you’ve successfully completed your induction and feel ready, you’ll be able to take on your own case load.

Our volunteers tell us that they get huge satisfaction from helping people overcome the practical problems they face and seeing how lives can be transformed by sometimes simple solutions. We’d love to welcome you to the team!

“It is great to be able to use our engineering skills to make something unique like this; it makes a really big difference to someone’s quality of life. It is a win-win as we not only make the situation better but also get great satisfaction ourselves from knowing we have made a difference.”