Helen Hitchcock runs an impressive gift shop of ethically-sourced jewellry, clothing and homeware called Sakala in West Sussex. This is where FOXY is based as well so our motoring paths often coincide.
Helen buys, imports and sells her gifts, re-investing profits in overseas educational projects to make these businesses sustainable.
Prior to Helen joining the Club we wondered whose the blue car with the eyelashes was…
So we wanted to know more about Helen’s statement car and why she chose it. In Helen’s words, here is what we discovered…
Tell us about your Citroen Berlingo please
Well, she’s called Bluebell and when I decided to buy her, I remember thinking she was the most un-sexy car going, but that was before we added the eyelashes of course!
Other than the sheer practicality of the vehicle, what Bluebell represents is ‘freedom’ for she is also fitted with all the aids we need for my husband to get out and about in his electronic wheelchair. Suddenly going to the pub is possible when it wasn’t previously. Up goes the tailgate, down comes the ramp, hook the electric winch to the front and hey presto, Colin can motor straight into the car.
In this way she has helped us stay as sociable as we want to be. Comfort is a given and space is no problem either. Bluebell comfortably carries Colin in his chair and can take a further two passengers. Suddenly we are nearly normal – well maybe that might be pushing it a little (if you know me!) but I’m sure you’ll understand just how important this set of wheels is to us both!
How might someone source a disability vehicle?
When having this sort of discussion about disability vehicles it helps to know that if the disabled person has the higher level mobility, they qualify for free road tax, VAT-free car servicing and of course a disability parking pass. These are all a great help.
Also the network of garages who look after these cars are incredibly helpful. For example, Bluebell was even delivered to us from the Midlands free of charge.
So if you need to start this journey, I recommend you Google for ‘wheelchair assisted vehicles’ abbreviated to WAV to find a choice of supply and repair garages across the UK.
How did Bluebell get her reputation in Sussex?
Few reading this will appreciate that I was used to whizzing around in a sports car, in an earlier life. So I wanted to add some fun to the freedom I felt when out and about in Bluebell.
Clearly the Citroen Berlingo is a very different drive from a Porsche, my goodness, but she is so practical and useful to us today and we love her to bits.
So much so we decided to give her a female personality makeover with her latest sexy eyelashes and now we’re used to the thumbs up and waves we get as we trundle the lanes of Sussex.
I can even say that Bluebell is famous among many Steyning residents, especially the other FOXY Lady Drivers I know there!
To find out more about Helen, her social enterprise and clourful buying trips be sure to visit her Sakala Facebook Page.