Social Care Ideas Factory is an International empowerment charity based in Scotland that hosts ‘Paragolf Scotland’.
The Paragolfer provides disabled people with the equipment to play golf with their friends, family and colleagues on a mainstream golf course.
The Paragolfer has three wheels and the console to control it has a joystick that may be familiar to some Powerchair users. After transferring to the Paragolfer you are strapped in with a ‘harness’ over the chest and a ‘strap’ across your legs, there are also footplates to rest your feet on.
The Paragolfer is easy to manoeuvre and when you’re in position you simply use the joystick to elevate yourself into the swinging position.
In January 2015 we teamed up with Mearns Castle Golf Academy, where Paragolf has been providing anyone with a mobility impairment (including wheelchair users) the chance to stand up and play golf anywhere on the course.
Operations manager, Russell Gray at Mearns Castle has been just as enthusiastic about the partnership and has supported us by accommodating the Paragolfer, providing staff training on how to demonstrate it and hosting two fundraiser events.
“The Paragolfer, is an idea that changes peoples’ lives,” said Founder and Curator, Charlie B-Gavigan of the Social Care Ideas Factory.
“We heard that in the past some disabled golfers from the USA came to Scotland looking to play golf using a Paragolfer machine, but there were none available for public use. The group had to arrange for a machine to be shipped here from Germany. That is something we found really disappointing. Paragolfer machines should be available to disabled golfers in Scotland, especially given that Scotland is the home of Golf.”
“We are absolutely thrilled therefore to have Ryan MacDonald, Social Care Ideas Factory Associate, who has been a visionary leader, identifying the potential for the Paragolfer and building communities of support to raise funds and build its awareness across Scotland”, said Charlie.
In only a few months Mearns Castle members, staff and friends of the club have fundraised over £2780 towards the purchase of a second Paragolf machine.
This has been generously matched by a local business man to support the purchase of machine number two.
On Monday 19th October 2015 a cheque for £1800 was presented to Ryan MacDonald (Social Care Ideas Factory/Paragolf Scotland) by Russell Gray on behalf of Mearns Castle.