Off-road mobility scooter 'a lifeline' for ex-HGV driver from Northamptonshire during coronavirus lockdown

An off-road mobility scooter has been 'a lifeline' for a former HGV driver from Northamptonshire during the coronavirus lockdown. Mark Boss has been able to tend to his allotment, go fishing and explore the outdoors thanks to his rugged TGA Vita X, which has been invaluable for his mental health. The 55-year-old from Hartwell said: "My scooter is such a lifeline; it has opened up the world to me.

Mark Boss on his TGA Vita X next to his beloved allotment plot in Hartwell Copyright: other

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"I never feel intimidated on it. Its size makes me feel safe and people see me coming plus I can talk to people pretty much at eye level. "They always comment on my Vita X and can't believe it is a mobility scooter.

"I tell them scooters are not just for older people, especially when you consider the good looks of my machine. "Add allotment ownership to this and you have a winning combination for strong mental health and positive wellbeing." Mark lives with significant blood pressure problems due to autonomic dysfunction, which means his walking capabilities are limited.

Since his condition became more challenging, he has owned a mobility scooter to remain independent. "Being able to remain mobile has massively helped my mental health. Previously I took a turn for the worst when my illness was bad in the early days," he said.

"The charity Mind was so supportive of me when I had shut myself away. I was like this for a few years until my wife convinced me to get a mobility scooter. "It made a huge difference however my first scooter, not a TGA, had rock hard suspension which was tough going and no good for my back.

"I regretted buying it as I had fractured my back some years ago, so it got really sore when driving. Whereas my TGA is stable and comfortable - its motorcycle suspension is awesome." Mark is a keen gardener and is in his third season of owing an allotment which he has been able to access without the support of his wife.

This independence is priceless and has resulted in plentiful harvests of carrots, red onions, tomatoes, spring onions, lettuces, leeks, rhubarb, strawberries and more. "My Vita X is a big and beautiful scooter that allows me to drive 200 yards from my house to the allotment, without it I would be lost, especially during the lockdown," he said. "I use it to go out for one hour a day and keep my distance as we all do on the allotment these days.

We're still a sociable bunch and keep chatting but stick to our own plots.

"Being able to grow fruit and veg independently is so therapeutic for me and has helped me reach a good place in my head."

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