Firm buys electric wheelchair for severely-burned South Yorkshire teenager

The parents of a South Yorkshire teenager severely burned as a child have thanked a community-minded company for helping fund an electric wheelchair for their son.

Thursday, 2nd March 2017, 10:58 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:09 am
Joe Bowers, from Rotherham, receives an electric wheelchair from HFR Solutions community interest company. Joe is pictured with parents Phil and Tracy, sister Rachel and Ian Marritt from HFR Solutions.

Joe Bowers, 17, from Rotherham, has had to deal with serious health problems since being rescued from a house fire in 2001.

He suffered terrible burns and spent months in hospital, later having to undergo plastic surgery, facial reconstruction and muscle implants.

Joe tries out his new wheelchair.

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Joe and his adoptive parents Phil and Tracy have grown close to South Yorkshire firefighters over the years, and it was through the service that community interest company HFR Solutions heard of his case.

The Hull-based firm offers emergency and safety training, and decided to help Joe by funding an electric wheelchair to allow him to move around freely.

The family was blown away by the gesture. Dad Phil said: “It was wonderful for Tracy and I to see the delight on Joe’s face when he opened the electric wheelchair.

"There’s no stopping him now, he has quickly adapted to it. I can’t express how this will improve Joe’s quality of life and directly impact on our family life. It will give Joe the independence he needs.

Joe gets a demonstration of firefighting equipment.

"We would like to personally thank Steve and John from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service, who have been close to Joe and family for a long time now, as well as Ian from HFR Solutions and their partners such as VolkerRail and Centrica who have kindly help fund this for Joe."

HFR managing director Nick Granger added: “It was truly wonderful to see Joe’s delight when he took his first ride on the new electric wheelchair.

"As a social enterprise, when we are able to support projects such as Joe and his family, it has a profound effect on the HFR Solutions team as we can clearly see the results of our efforts"

And Steve North of South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue added: “Having being close to Joe and his family for several years now, it’s great that our close working relationship with HFR Solutions CIC and their partners has resulted in being able to fund an electric wheelchair for Joe.

Joe with firefighters.

"It will have a big impact on Joe’s life, giving him more independence and freedom. I know the family enjoy regular days out and this electric scooter will make it much easier and less hassle for Phil, Tracy and family to get out and about”.

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Joe tries out his new wheelchair.
Joe gets a demonstration of firefighting equipment.
Joe with firefighters.