Disabled people need comfortable and good-looking crutches, Amelia Peckham has designed really cool crutches to suit everyone’s needs; all her designer crutches are lightweight, have a moulded handle for both left and right hands, detachable arm cuff and a soft neoprene grip. Following a spinal injury at the age of 19 years, Amelia found that the National Health Service (NHS) crutches she was given during her treatment were really uncomfortable, they made her hands raw and prone to infection, also they were unstable, noisy and she felt that she looked like an invalid. Amelia spoke to other patients with numerous conditions, amputees, others with spinal injuries, hip and knee replacements, foot surgery and anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction and to those with polio, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and cancer, everyone agreed with Amelia’s assessment that NHS crutches were pretty basic.
Her Mum set about researching alternatives and found that French and Spanish crutches were an improvement on British crutches. Since 2008 Amelia has been manufacturing her own brand of “Cool Crutches” in Spain, with the colours and patterns applied in UK, folks can even design their own bespoke crutches from the options available. Prue Leith, Great British BakeOff judge and Boris Johnson’s NHS obesity Csarina, has recently damaged her Achilles tendon and has been seen out and about supported by a pair of Amelia’s best-selling rainbow crutches.
In 2005 Amelia was on private land enjoying being a passenger on a quad bike with three friends, when offered she chose to have a go at driving although she had never driven a quad bike before, the quad bike hit a pot-hole and they all ricocheted down a hill and into a river. The accident happened miles from the hospital where Amelia spent three months, she was then in a wheelchair for six months, after loads of physiotherapy and a year later she returned to Edinburgh University to finish her history degree. Amelia does not wish to spoil anyone’s fun but she says that quad bikes are unpredictable, she recommends people have some sort of instruction before going off on fun rides and a helmet would not be a bad idea; she looks forward to the day when there is a bit more safety legislation and regulation.
Following her degree Amelia ran a gym in London but has now moved to the countryside and started a family, she will always walk with crutches. The Cool Crutches company is celebrating over ten years of trading and is about to launch a coloured supportive walking stick that will be useful for anyone with bad balance. The online shop now sells circa 1000 crutches a year with prices ranging from £50-£150, if folks are registered disabled or Blue Badge Holders (those with a health condition that affects mobility) there is no Value Added Tax.