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Statement from Lord Sterling

Thursday, 09 April 2020

Statement from Lord Sterling, Chairman and Co-Founder of Motability and Chairman of The Motability Foundation.

Dear all,

Tomorrow being the start of Easter, on behalf of my governing Board colleagues, we wish to thank all the people involved in our joint endeavours on behalf of disabled people and their families throughout the United Kingdom.

Namely, the motor manufacturers, vehicle converters and adaptation companies, the car dealerships, the RSA Motability Insurance team in Liverpool, the Department for Work and Pensions, the RAC breakdown and recovery teams, Kwik Fit and many other unsung heroes, all who help to deliver the Motability Scheme.

I must emphasise that what is particularly special is the wonderful response by all created by the immense challenge due to Coronavirus.

Closer to home, the very special management planning at Motability Operations has been invaluable to enable the switching of the whole delivery role of the Scheme to operate from home with the appropriate kit, thereby giving them the capability of the crucial call centre role and other key areas to continue to give the highest standard of service for the needs of the Motability Scheme’s disabled customers.

Mike Betts, CEO of Motability Operations stood down on 31 March 2020 after 18 years’ service, and was very prepared to continue his role of Chairman of the Crisis Committee, which he will run for as long as it takes, working together with Matthew Hamilton-James, current acting CEO and his other senior colleagues.

Brigadier Barry Le Grys MBE, CEO of Motability, the Charity, has carried out a similar operation with all the teams working at the Harlow office. Sadly, the Charitable Grants division, that operates from the Motability Foundation has had to pause grant-making, as most very disabled applicants cases must be handled face-to-face to ensure their mobility needs are correctly analysed and met.

Empathy is what all involved possess and is a key factor as to why everyone is prepared to go the extra mile.

How fortunate we all are that empathy and in particular courage is such a wonderful driving force in all our medical services. They have it in spades!!

May I finish on a personal note;

Easter is celebrated by many religions, together with those who are not religious. When many of us go out for a walk the beauty of the blossoms and flowers of spring, together with the tranquillity created by the containment is such that the birdsong is really quite special. In my part of London, near the river, the Canadian Geese have just returned following a 10,000 mile flight for their annual nesting.

We will all spend time now to prepare for the inevitable moment of the return to normality and we wish to be quick off the starting blocks.

During this period we have learnt a great deal about the extraordinary acceleration of modern technology, of which we must make full use when the Motability Scheme is once again carrying out its full role of enhancing the lives and mobility of disabled people and their families and then


May I wish you and your families and friends a Happy Easter and keep safe!

Best wishes,
Jeffrey Sterling GCVO CBE