A Foundation of Trust and Understanding
Brotherwood® was founded in 1985 by Rod Brotherwood, and began with the conversion of a Nissan Prairie for wheelchair user, friend and neighbour, John Lambert. John, a former airline pilot, had become dependent on his wheelchair as a result of a motorcycle accident.
At this time the ‘Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle’, as it is known today did not exist. The only options available to John were clumsy, conspicuous vehicles, which John referred to as ‘Pope-mobiles’. John asked Rod, a vehicle engineer, if he could use his extensive knowledge to design and build him a better vehicle which could transport him in his wheelchair.
John wanted the things anyone would look for in a new car; good looks, convenience, and everyday usability. He especially wanted something that didn’t stand out as a vehicle for the disabled. This was a point Brotherwood® has never forgotten.
Rod set about designing an innovative new vehicle conversion that enabled John to travel with his family, comfortably and discretely. By understanding John’s needs, Rod produced a unique vehicle, which perfectly suited John’s lifestyle, and the Brotherwood® vehicle conversion process was born.
The Evolution of Disabled Transport
From Rod's first vehicle conversion in 1985, Brotherwood has grown into a market leader in Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles. Brotherwood have been at the forefront of the UK WAV market for over 30 years, establishing higher working standards across the industry to ensure that wheelchair users across the UK benefit from outstanding choice, quality and service.
Innovation and Exclusivity
Since our foundation we have strived to produce the very best Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles. The original Brotherwood® ethos of carefully hand-building a discrete vehicle that provides comfort, inclusion and visibility for the wheelchair passenger still holds true today, and is evident every vehicle we create.
Brotherwood® are the pioneers of the modern day Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle. Our appetite for innovation still drives the company forward to this day, and our history is full of industry firsts:
• First wheelchair conversion to be integrated into a standard passenger car
• First convertor to achieve standard low volume type approval
• First convertor to achieve both European Whole Vehicle Type Approval and PAS-2012:1-2012 Compliance
• First convertor to create a 'passenger up-front' wheelchair accessible vehicle
• First convertor to create a Sports Utility wheelchair accessible vehicle
• First convertor to create a fully electric wheelchair accessible vehicle
Whilst our ethos has remained unchanged, Brotherwood® has grown to employ over 50 staff and apprentices producing hundreds of vehicles per year at our dedicated production facility near Sherborne in Dorset. With this experience we have adopted industry-leading design and engineering techniques to ensure that our vehicles deliver an outstanding travelling experience for all.
We have strived to establish harmonised safety standards across the Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle market, ensuring that our vehicles are independently tested and approved to the highest levels.
Throughout these changes we have retained our core principle: to fully understand and appreciate your lifestyle, in order to provide you with the very best Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle for your needs.
An early Brotherwood advertisement from 1987, promoting the Nissan Prairie conversion.
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