Linda Ling, co-founder of Oxfordshire-based business, Fleximobility, is delighted to have been awarded an MBE for services to people with disabilities in the 2020 New Years’ Honours List.
Linda has dedicated her 37-year career to helping people with mobility issues and is currently the Managing Director of Fleximobility, a company which provides Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs) from its Oxfordshire base in Carterton.
Linda began her career as a sales administrator for Gowrings Mobility in Newbury when the market for wheelchair-accessible vehicles was miniscule, with only 100 WAVs sold nationally each year compared with 10,000 per annum today. She eventually became Managing Director of the company. During this time, Linda was also instrumental in the formation of the Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Converters’ Association [WAVCA] and still represents the association as their Secretary General.
After that, Linda was a key player in the formation of the Organisation Europeene de Constructeur des Vehicules Accessibles [OECVA], a trade association of European converters of WAVs. OECVA was formed in order to enable the continuing production of WAVs to match people’s needs, while keeping in-line with European legislation.
Today, Linda runs Fleximobility, the country’s fastest-growing specialist retail leasing company for accessible vehicles with fellow director and local Oxfordshire man, Barry Smith.
Linda Ling, MBE, said: ‘A wheelchair accessible vehicle can make a huge difference to the life of not only the wheelchair user but everyone around them. It is always the simple trips that make the most difference - the trips that most of us take for granted – such as going to the shops, dropping the kids off at school or going out for lunch. A well specified WAV can make going out so much easier again.
‘I was very surprised and thrilled when I heard of my MBE honour. The worst bit was keeping the secret from my family and friends for six weeks! I am hugely grateful to my husband Ken for supporting me all these years when I’ve been dashing around doing several jobs at a time.
‘I would like to dedicate this award to my Mum, to the memory of my grandson Harry Scott, and to all carers paid and unpaid.’
In addition to all her professional and voluntary work, Linda has served as an expert witness to the courts since 2015, advising and reporting on the optimum solutions for all types of personal mobility needs and requirements.