Motability (the Charity) has rebranded as the 'Motability Foundation' to boost recognition of its expanded role in grant-giving, research and innovation. This change aims to simplify the process for disabled individuals and organisations to locate and access the assistance it offers.
Now in its 45th year, Motability is well known for its role overseeing the Motability Scheme, and the logo it shared with the Scheme can be seen in car dealerships up and down the UK, however despite a large-scale expansion in its grant-giving, research and innovation activities over the last two years, people are still not aware of its role as a disability charity.
A recent poll conducted by the Motability Foundation showed that in a survey of disabled people, their friends, family and carers, and disability organisations, only 2% named it as a disability charity.
In 2022, Motability published a report – ‘The Transport Accessibility Gap’, which showed that disabled people still make 38% fewer journeys than non-disabled people – a figure that to date has not changed in over a decade. This research, along with other insight gathered from disabled people, organisations, and stakeholders, has been used to create six new grant programmes which fund other organisations to fill gaps in existing transport services for disabled people, such as community transport, and also to come up with practical innovations to make transport more accessible.
Launching the new name, Barry Le Grys, Chief Executive of the Motability Foundation said: “We are proud of our name and the heritage that comes with it, however, as an organisation, we are evolving, and we need to make sure our communications and brand help us to do that. As the Motability Foundation, we want to reach more disabled people, charities and organisations, by making it easier for them to understand who we are and find out how we can support them. We also need to ensure that the work we are doing to fund, support, research and innovate is recognised and trusted by governments, business and industry, to help effect positive change so that all disabled people can make the journeys they choose. This is more than a cosmetic change to a name and logo.”
The announcement coincides with a recent review carried out by the Motability Foundation to understand what the biggest current issues are in accessible transport and highlight what the Motability Foundation should be addressing through their expanding innovation work.
The review was informed by insight from disabled people (including key contributions from an expert by experience panel), a major evidence review conducted by Thinks Insight & Strategy, interviews with key stakeholders and extensive internal engagement with employees and governors.
Disabled people told the Motability Foundation:
Following this review, the Motability Foundation also announced that its two new innovation priority areas for 2023 to 2026 are:
In response to feedback received, the Motability Foundation’s innovation team will be taking a broader approach, working on a wide range of projects covering different transport types and disabilities.
Rachael Badger, Director of Performance and Innovation at the Motability Foundation said: “We are dedicated to involvement and co-creation with disabled people in our innovation work, as well as greater collaboration with our stakeholders. Working with so many insightful and experienced people has been fundamental to ensure that our work is relevant and targeted to make maximum impact so that all disabled people can make the journeys they choose.”
The Motability Foundation continues to oversee the Motability Scheme (whose name and branding is not changing as part of this work) and to provide grants to the many thousands of people who access the Scheme through its Scheme-Related grant programmes every year.