"Happy birthday Motivation. Keep on making the world better." Michael Palin

Thursday 11th February 2016

I can hardly believe it but it is 25 years since Richard, Simon and I sat together on a plane heading for Bangladesh, ready to embark on Motivation’s first ever project. We had recently graduated from the Royal College of Art and were excited about the potential of our new wheelchair design, which had won an award. Our design was different from anything people had seen before and we were confident that it could make a huge difference to people in Bangladesh.

Thinking back to that flight now, I don’t think we had any idea that it was the start of something much bigger - a quarter of a century later and Motivation’s work has reached disabled people in 120 countries. I want to say thank you to our supporters old and new - without your donations, advice and enthusiasm for Motivation’s work, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Things haven’t always been easy, but your support has kept us going.

We were delighted to receive this message of support from Michael Palin:

25 years ago, we started with just one question: what if wheelchairs were better?

What if a three-wheel chair could get Porimol to work so he could support his family? What if a better fitting chair meant Happy could play with her friends at school, and what if Abdul could fix his wheelchair himself so he wouldn’t be trapped at home? For all these people, you have helped to make ‘if’ happen. Together, we have shown the world that with the right wheelchair and support, even the poorest and most vulnerable can lead full, healthy and productive lives.

In this, our anniversary year, we’re proud that we have gone some way to improving disabled people’s health, mobility, confidence and inclusion. But ageing populations, growing conflicts and rising numbers with chronic health conditions mean that more people than ever will need our support in the years to come. We plan to be there for them and we hope you will too.