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New chair to offer fresh adventures for Nairn pupils


By Louise Glen

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Gordon McGregor, Director of GM4X, assembling the chair. Picture: James Mackenzie
Gordon McGregor, Director of GM4X, assembling the chair. Picture: James Mackenzie

A specially adapted wheelchair has been delivered to Nairn Academy where it will allow pupils with mobility difficulties to get out and about and explore the countryside.

The all-terrain Paratreker wheelchair-bike hybrid should also allow more young people to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and will even play a part in the wider community, to take elderly people out and about as well.

It was designed and built by Lanark-based company GM4X whose owner, Gordon McGregor, said it would open up a world of opportunities for users.

“I could not buy what I was looking for in an outdoor adventure wheelchair and I have collaborated with universities to test and build the model we use now,” he said.

Nairn Academy receive Paratreker wheelchair..Duncan Sanderson, ASN Teacher, Laurie Fraser, Nairn Provost, Yvonne Cotter, representing Rotary, Kirstin Grant, Duke of Edinburgh Coordinator and Gordon McGregor, Director of GM4X Ltd..Picture: James Mackenzie..
Nairn Academy receive Paratreker wheelchair..Duncan Sanderson, ASN Teacher, Laurie Fraser, Nairn Provost, Yvonne Cotter, representing Rotary, Kirstin Grant, Duke of Edinburgh Coordinator and Gordon McGregor, Director of GM4X Ltd..Picture: James Mackenzie..

“I wanted to build it so no kids miss out on the outdoors.

“With the Paratreker everyone gets an equal opportunity of the outdoors.

“The guys at Nairn are incredible with the youngsters and they have great fun doing what they do. I wanted to help support them.

“What a pleasure it was to work with them.”

The academy’s additional support needs teacher, Duncan Sanderson, said: “The support we have had was immense and has been beyond our wildest dreams.

Nairn Academy receive Paratreker wheelchair..The Paratreker wheelchair..Picture: James Mackenzie..
Nairn Academy receive Paratreker wheelchair..The Paratreker wheelchair..Picture: James Mackenzie..

“The wheelchair will enable us to take many youngsters out into the countryside and it will be very useful for our Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme.

“We obviously have to be mindful of where we go, but it would be my hope sometime to maybe get some of the pupils up to the top of Cairngorm.

“Something we are also looking at is using the Paratreker for pupils to take out elderly people in the community as part of their volunteering experience.”

The school was helped to buy the Paratreker by various funders including the Nairnshire Committee of Highland Council, The Rotary Club of Nairn and Nairn River Community Council.

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