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Elisabeth’s legacy gift says thank you to QEF for independent mobility

We would like to say a posthumous thank you to Elisabeth Marris for leaving a £2,000 legacy to QEF Mobility Services. Elisabeth was well known for volunteering as a marshal at Bushy parkrun, and attended every Saturday whenever she was able, enjoying the waves and hellos from the runners. Elisabeth even had a corner of the route named after her.

There was a point though when her existing mobility aids were no longer enough, and the borrowed wheelchair she was using wasn’t really fit for purpose.  This was compromising her ability to access the park as she was in danger of slipping out of it.

Paul Graham, specialist Occupational Therapist at QEF Mobility Services is also the founder of Junior parkrun. He was able to assess and support Elisabeth to access a more suitable wheelchair that kept her independently mobile – something he does for QEF’s clients regularly, helping people to access suitable mobility equipment or supporting people to access driving.

Elisabeth sitting in her wheelchair in Bushy Park with 2 men kneeling down to her right

Elisabeth with parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt and Junior parkrun founder, QEF’s Paul Graham

Elisabeth’s daughter Lucy says:

“For mum having a properly fitted wheelchair was absolutely transformative not only to her practical mobility and physical health, but also to her mental health and wellbeing.   At first, mum really only needed the wheelchair when she was outside the care home, so it facilitated trips across to Bushy park to be at her Sandy Gate marshal point to cheer on parkrunners on a Saturday morning, as well as adventures out and about to nearby places.

The fold up model was brilliant to get in and out of my little car once I got the hang of it.  Over time, mum’s mobility and stamina decreased.  Then she became wholly reliant on the wheelchair to remain independent within her room.  Things many take for granted, like being able to move to a window or answer the phone without calling for help were really important.

Mum loved the big wheels that meant she could move herself along the corridor to visit friends in neighbouring rooms or see what was happening in communal areas.  I phoned mum every day over the last couple of years of her life and pretty much every time she expressed appreciation for the wheelchair that enabled her to retain a degree of autonomy as long as possible.

Mum was always insistent that QEF should receive something in recognition of the difference it had made to her.  She felt her own wheelchair had had a great deal of wear and tear and knew how much it had helped her.  I am grateful more than I can express too.  Living in Sheffield I worried about my mum so far away, knowing that she had a properly fitted wheelchair, and the support of QEF made a massive difference.  Mum minded about being independent, and the wheelchair was quite literally instrumental in allowing her to maintain that almost until the end.  She was 94 when she passed away on International parkrun day. ”

Gifts in wills are so important to QEF. They enable us to develop our expert services so we can support more disabled people to achieve their potential and live as independently as possible. Find out more about how you can leave a legacy gift to QEF.

Elisabeth smiling and clapping her hands wearing blue gloves


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