Colchester: Amputee soldier presents picnic bench he designed specifically for people with disabilities to Help for Heroes recovery centre
18:48 11 February 2014
An amputee soldier has presented a picnic bench he designed specifically for people with disabilities to a recovery centre in north Essex.
Alex Stringer, 23, lost both legs and a forearm three years ago after he set off a land mine while serving with the 23 Pioneers Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps in Afghanistan.
Now he works with social enterprise company Realise Futures, which makes recycled plastic outdoor furniture, and has designed a new picnic bench. Yesterday, he presented it to Chavasse VC House, the Help for Heroes Recovery Centre in Colchester, to be used by recovering armed services personnel.
Mr Stringer, who attended treatment programmes at the centre, drew on the experience of his own disability to come up with an innovative design which allows wheelchair users to easily access and sit at the bench in comfort alongside abled-bodied people.
Following the company’s tradition of naming products after the person who designed them, the bench is called The Alex Bench. It will now go into production and be part of the company’s range.
Recovery centre manager Steve Schollar said: “Alex has inspired us all with his determination to recover, and to share his experiences and challenges with others as he went through the process. The Alex Bench is an inspired piece of design that will greatly enhance the practical and social facilities at Chavasse VC House.”
Mr Stringer is now working on a new design for a potting bench for Hedley Court, a Help for Heroes rehabilitation complex in Surrey where people recovering from their injuries are able to spend time in a therapeutic garden.