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Keighley walking aids make way around world
4:00pm Monday 25th February 2013 in Keighley
Revolutionary walking aids made in Keighley are being exported for use by disabled children around the world.
Hundreds of youngsters in other countries with conditions such as cerebral palsy are using the wheeled frames to get around.
Queensland in Australia recently celebrated its hundredth walker manufactured in Keighley by the David Hart Clinic.
The company now exports about 80 per cent of its frames.
It has also licensed a company in Canada to make frames for the North American market, and another in Scandinavia to manufacture a version for Europe.
Meanwhile, children from across the UK still travel to the Dawson Road clinic for assessment and training with the frames. These have included Keighley girl Tierney Westerman, who has cerebral palsy and was last year provided with a walker thanks to an anonymous donor.
The Hart Walker was created by Keighley engineer David Hart in the 1980s, and many were supplied to disabled Keighley children thanks to massive local fundraising.
The clinic is now run by James and Rachael Garwatuk.
James said most of the clinic’s business was abroad because many foreign health services were willing to pay for the equipment.
Mr Garwatuk said: “We make them in Keighley but 80 per cent of our walkers go abroad – that’s down to funding. “The Australian Lions provide funding, and we supply them to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance in Australia. And one of our biggest customers is the Israeli health ministry.”