In a remarkable feat of meticulous planning and community collaboration, CatWalk Founder, Catriona Williams, in partnership with ACM Motorhomes and Milner Mobility, has turned a dream into reality with the launch of CHARLY, New Zealand’s first fully accessible motorhome. Officially unveiled on January 25th at the Milner Mobility premises, CHARLY is more than just a vehicle; it symbolises a new era of inclusive and purpose-driven travel.
The attention to detail in CHARLY’s design is a testament to its commitment to inclusivity. Catering to individuals with varying degrees of paralysis, the motorhome features an Ezy-lock system that transforms the wheelchair into the passenger seat, an automated bed, lowered cooking facilities, and a traveling hoist – all meticulously designed for ease of use. Unlike traditional accessible rooms often tucked away in less attractive locations, CHARLY ensures that every detail, from fixtures to fittings, enhances the overall guest experience, providing a level of comfort akin to five-star accommodation.
The journey from dream to reality was made possible through a successful fundraising effort that amassed an impressive $450,000. Four major funders contributed $400,000 to the build, while additional support was received from various contributors who generously donated their time and items to complete the fit-out. This community-driven approach highlights the collective commitment to breaking down barriers in travel.
Beyond being a mode of transportation, CHARLY is on a mission to make a meaningful impact. Allocating 60% of net rental proceeds to fund crucial research for spinal cord injuries and support services, CHARLY has partnerships with The CatWalk Trust and the NZ Spinal Trust. This commitment transforms CHARLY into a vehicle not just for travel but for making a positive change in the lives of those affected by spinal cord injuries.
During the launch, the significance of CHARLY as a symbol of inclusivity and purpose was emphasised. CHARLY stands as a shining example of how innovation, community support, and a purpose-driven approach can create a positive impact, not just for travellers with mobility challenges, but for the broader community.
As CHARLY hits the roads, it carries with it the aspirations of a more inclusive travel landscape and the hope for advancements in spinal cord injury research. Catriona Williams, ACM Motorhomes, and Milner Mobility have not only created a vehicle for unforgettable journeys but a catalyst for change in the world of accessible travel.
For further information on how to rent CHARLY please visit https://milnermobility.co.nz/charly-campervan-rental