In 1964 Pat Johnson, an engineer with ICI, decided to help his disabled sister by making some improvements to her home. She had had polio as a child and as a wheelchair user she was experiencing difficulties in managing daily life.
Pat built a wooden ramp to his sister’s front door using some scrap wood and installed an electric hoist, with a runway in the ceiling of her bungalow. She was overjoyed with the ramp and hoist as they gave her a level of independence she had never enjoyed before. Pat could see that his relatively simple solutions had made a huge difference to his sister’s life, so resolved to try and bring similar changes to other people’s lives.
Pat got together with some other engineers and formed a group dedicated to improve the quality of life for disabled people. Geoffrey Gilbertson an ICI senior manager who was also a wheelchair user became the first Chair and by 1968 he had set about developing a network of groups or “panels”. The acronym Remap officially stands for Rehabilitation Engineering Movement Advisory Panel (but these days we say “Resourceful Engineers Make Anything Possible”!)
In the early years Remap operated under the wing of the Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation (RADAR), but broke away in 1990 to become an independent charity.
Now Remap covers the whole of the UK and completes 3,500 projects every year helping disabled people to become more independent.
A lot has changed over the last 50 years or so, but our creativity and inventiveness remain at the heart of what we do.
- 1964 GPB (Pat) Johnson sets up a group of volunteer engineers mainly from ICI on Teesside. Called Basic Movement Advisory Panels (BMAP). Pat recognised the need for aids for the disabled after making several for his sister who had polio
- 1968 BMAP taken under the wing of the British Council for Rehabilitation of the Disabled (BCRD).
- Geoffrey Gilbertson joined by Ken Powell. Norman Brearley appointed as National Organiser with Barbara Gledhill as National Secretary to develop a network of groups. BMAP becomes REMAP (Rehabilitation Engineering Movement Advisory Panels)
- 1972 Regional Organisers appointed to oversee local groups and develop more
- 1974 16 groups
- 1977 BCRD merges with Central Council for the Disabled to become the Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation (RADAR)
- REMAP has 7 Regional Organisers and 58 panels
- 1978 67 panels
- 1979 79 panels. Martin Marshall becomes National Organiser
- 1980 Sir Geoffrey Gilbertson retires. Stanley Lyon (ex-deputy chairman of ICI) becomes Chairman
- 1982 First yearbook published. 87 panels
- 1984 Martin Marshall retires as National Organiser, takes on editorship of yearbook
- 1985 Mrs Valerie White becomes National Organiser
- 1987 First Remap Award won by Berkshire
- 1988 Neil McLennan becomes Chairman
- 1990 REMAP breaks from RADAR and becomes two independent organizations, REMAP-GB and REMAP Scotland. 29/10/90 REMAP-GB registered as separate charity, REMAP Scotland becomes independent in 1990
- 1991 John Wright becomes National Organiser
- 1992 First BBC Lifeline appeal raises over £23,000
- 1995 Professor Heinz Wolff becomes a Vice-President having been connected with REMAP for 8 years. Professor Bill Inman becomes a Vice-President
- 1996 BBC Week’s Good Cause raises £17,000
- 1997 Belfast panel is the first Northern Irish panel. REMAP-GB becomes Remap
- 1999 BBC Lifeline appeal raises £26,000
- 2002 Mary-Ann Mitchell becomes National Organiser
- 2004 Remap celebrates 40 years having helped 80,000 people. BBC Lifeline appeal raises £17,000
- 2007 Susan Iwanek appointed as CEO
- 2008 Remap Internet panel launched. BBC Lifeline appeal raises £5,500
- 2010 Remap becomes an incorporated charity
- 2014 Adam Rowe appointed CEO and Remap celebrates 50 Years and helps over 100,000 people
- 2017 David Martin appointed CEO. Remap is helping ten people every day of the year
- 2020 David Martin leaves Remap. Remap granted charitable status by OSCR to operate in Scotland
- 2021 Enrollment of Virtual Central Office, 3 new staff members welcomed. Sue Boyes appointed General Manager.