Nick is one of our Shepherds from Bristol who relies partly on a mobility scooter after having two strokes. Previously he worked as a courier in Europe in which he would drive his motorbike around collecting and delivering high-value items. He would usually do trips from London to Paris but his job took him all over Europe. 

The nature of Nick’s job meant that he would be told last minute if he was needed for a job and then he could be running around for a whole week or more. Some weeks he wouldn’t get called for a job at all. This meant that he had lots of free time to fill his days – but because he didn’t have a consistent schedule, getting a traditional part-time job was off the cards.

Nick then started working for a number of different gig economy companies, like Shepper. That way he could pick up jobs on the day if he had some free time, and could be completely flexible. He found that this type of work really suited his lifestyle, and meant he could earn some extra money to fill the gaps when he didn’t have jobs. Because he was often on the go, the fact that these jobs were all over the place was also a huge win.

Unfortunately, Nick had an initial stroke 8 years ago, and another 1 year ago. After the second stroke, Nick had his license taken away by the DVLA and was no longer able to drive his motorbike. His bike was a key part of his job, so Nick couldn’t work his courier job anymore.

He does still complete gig work when he can, but another result of his stroke was that he now sometimes has to rely on a mobility scooter. This means that getting into smaller shops can occasionally be difficult. 

Nick raised these concerns with us – letting us know that although he loves doing Shepper checks, getting into convenience stores is sometimes impossible for him. To help him out, we offered Nick the opportunity to pick up shifts as a reviewer – checking submitted reports for accuracy and quality. This helped Nick out a lot as this work can be done anywhere and is still as flexible.

As an advocate for accessibility now that he has a mobility scooter, Nick talked to us about the difficulties someone disabled could have when completing store checks. Small stores are an obvious issue, but things like the lack of a ramp, non-automated doors, or counters that are too high can also cause problems for those in wheelchairs or similar.

At Shepper we truly believe that our platform should be for everybody, regardless of levels of ability. We’re currently looking for ways to make our app more accessible to those in wheelchairs by flagging which stores are suitable. 

“I’m really pleased that Shepper is looking into more accessible solutions for people of all ability levels. While I’m lucky that I can walk a little bit to get around smaller stores to complete jobs, my scooter has made me very aware that people in wheelchairs would struggle. Things like tills being low enough, ramps, and automated doors are a necessity – having this flagged on the app would be incredibly helpful to people like me.”