Introducing the WHILL Model C Powerchair

The WHILL Model C powerchair from TGA Mobility can potentially change Bridget’s life.

We’ve found a powerchair she can use for the first time because it has a palm-size joystick. 

This single feature delivers the maximum amount of benefit for Bridget.

Let’s be frank; almost any other wheelchair control has the potential to cause catastrophic damage to Bridget’s hand.

After only one trip on the WHILL, Bridget named it “Baby Bimbler” and says she is confident, feels safe using it and can’t wait to go bimbling further afield.

All positive signs, but there are some downsides to having a WHILL Model C powerchair. I’ll tell you what they are later.

Disclaimer

We are using the WHILL Model C for a few months to see how Bridget get’s on with it. We will not be compensated for trialling or writing about the WHILL. Any opinions given in our posts or videos are based on Bridget using the chair.

What is the WHILL C Powerchair?

The WHILL Model C is a state-of-the-art powerchair designed from the ground up with the user in mind. Standard electric wheelchairs are dated, and the market was ready for a fresh take on personal mobility. The WHILL’s next-level design, comfort and stability fill that brief perfectly.

Who is the WHILL Powerchair for?

The WHILL Model C Powerchair
WHILL Model C

The WHILL is for anyone with mobility problems who don’t need a specialist wheelchair.

If you can use a standard electric wheelchair or powerchair, then I’m pretty sure you can use a WHILL with the caveat, test drive it first.

The WHILL, with its clever design, can be used indoors or out, around town or on a reasonably flat country walk.

And the best part, because it’s designed with personal comfort in mind, flexibility is built-in. 

The WHILL comes in different seat sizes,16, 18 and 20 inches. You can adjust the chair’s height and backrest, move the armrests and even change the side of the hand controls if you need to.

It breaks down into four parts for easy storage or transport in the car. It’s three parts, but I prefer to take the battery out to make it lighter.

If that’s not enough, you can buy side panels in different colours to change the chair’s look. 

Add optional extras like a smart key to lock the chair when you’re not using it, a cane holder and an under-seat shopping basket.

In short, the WHILL is as flexible as you need it to be.

What are the Main Benefits of the WHILL Powerchair for Bridget

WHILL Model C Joystick
WHILL Model C Joystick

When we’ve looked at powerchairs in the past, the single biggest problem we had was the hand control (joystick).

Bridget can’t use her right hand and has four dislocated joints on her left.

This means she cant grip small, thin joysticks. I know you can buy different joysticks, and worst case, stick a tennis ball on it.

But, there was another problem connected with the joystick, and it was this.

It would be difficult for me to operate the chair if Bridget’s knuckle dislocated or even if her hand just became tired.

I could go in freewheel mode, like you can on the WHILL or walk alongside it, but it is not practical.

So, a massive benefit of the WHILL is I can operate it from my mobile phone.

It comes with an app that effectively puts hand control on your smartphone screen, and you then operate the chair from there.

This also means you can bring the chair to where you’re sitting if you’re away from it. 

How cool is that!

The ergo dynamic joystick and app mean that Bridget gets some independence back and that we both have the peace of mind that if she’s unable to use the chair, I can.

What’s the WHILL Ride Like?

So far, Bridget’s used the chair on flat ground. I am told it could manage obstacles of 2 inches, but we haven’t tried yet.

She said the ride is smooth, the seat comfortable and controlling the chair is easy. 

By easy, she means it doesn’t put pressure on her fingers because she’s using the palm of her hand to operate the chair.

This seems like a good time to introduce the WHILL’s Omni wheels. They look futuristic, and they probably are. 

The WHILL Model C Omni-Wheels
Omni-Wheels

From a user’s point of view, they help you turn on a sixpence (showing my age there). 

What’s the Range and Speed?

The range on a fully charged battery is 10 miles, terrain dependent.

You can charge the battery on or off the powerchair. I think we’ll need to carry the charger with us on mega bimbles. 

It plugs into a standard plug socket, so it’s not a hardship.

It has 4-speed settings, with a top speed of 4 miles an hour. 

That’s fast enough for Bridget, I would say.

How Easy is it to Transport the WHILL?

The first thing to remember is that the WHILL is sturdy and designed with stability.

It’s not a flimsy powerchair, which means it comes with a bit of weight. 

In total, it weighs 52kg. When you break the WHILL down into four pieces, the WHILL is much more manageable. The heaviest part is the rear wheels which weigh 20kg.

First Time Using the WHILL Model C

I was able to lift it into the car boot with no problem.

When I say no problem, I mean, once I’d figured out the best order to put the pieces in the boot, it went in no problem.

What are the Downsides?

As you can see, the WHILL Model C powerchair is an impressive mobility aid. 

But, there are downsides. Some are personal to us, and others are more general observations. 

In the interest of fairness, I must share them with you.

Personal Downsides

I want one. I’m not sure I should admit I’m jealous of a powerchair, but I am.

I can see Bridget and me bimbling alongside on the promenade, stopping only to let onlookers take a closer look at the chair.

Maybe Bridget will let me have a go; I think I come in just under the 18-stone maximum weight limit.

General Downsides

The WHILL Model C isn’t the cheapest powerchair on the market, and the price will put it out of reach of some potential users. 

That said, I still think it’s worth every penny.

Also, you can get the WHILL Model C via the Motability Scheme, so you can effectively pay monthly.

Considering the build quality, functionality, style, and independence it offers Bridget, it’s value for money.

As I have explained, I know there are cheaper alternatives, but they don’t work for us.

The WHILL Model C Powerchair – Yes or No?

Based on our usage so far, it’s a resounding “YES” for the WHILL Model C.

For a first-time user like Bridget, it works. It’s comfortable, stable, easy to control and looks good.

For Bridget, with her specific medical condition and difficulties, it’s perfect.

I will report back when we’ve had more time and covered more distance. 

In the meantime, you can follow our WHILL journey on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

2 thoughts on “Introducing the WHILL Model C Powerchair”

    • Hi Carol,
      I know what you mean. I was considering buying a ramp and driving the chair into my car. Depending on what car you have, that may be an option. I know you can buy wheelchair hoists, but I think they cost a fair bit, and I don’t know if they’d work for the WHILL. The only alternative and I say this because we’ve recently hired one, is a WAV (Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle). Apart from that, I’m out of suggestions, if I’m honest.

      Reply

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