About

Our vision is to create a world where every wheelchair user feels comfortable and in control of their temperature.

The WheelAir system is the first temperature control system designed to fit any wheelchair. It disperses air evenly across your back to lower your core temperature, keeping the skin dry and clean. This helps to avoid symptoms caused by overheating and over sweating, allowing you to stay comfortable and in control.

BRAND STORY

Where did the idea come from?

The very first WheelAir was brought to life in 2015 by our Managing Director, Corien Staels, as her final university project during her textiles degree. Her university tutor, who was a wheelchair user, had told Corien of the problems associated with overheating. Corien thought… why don’t I solve that?

Looking into the issue of overheating further, Corien learned that overheating in a wheelchair is not only very uncomfortable, but also potentially dangerous. She learned that people were using ice-packs and water sprays keep cool. It seemed ridiculous to her that in this day and age, there wasn’t a technological solution.

 

So, she came up with the WheelAir concept. A simple idea that has already made a lot of impact. The WheelAir system is designed to remove excess heat and moisture from the backs of wheelchair users and cool their core temperature. Not only this, the team based in Glasgow, Scotland are working hard to build a stylish brand that wheelchair users can relate to. The WheelAir has been described as ‘a breath of fresh air’ in the industry. Best of all, the WheelAir is already changing lives. One user, Jay, told us when she first tried the WheelAir that it was the first time in 20 years that she had been able to sit it in the sun without overheating. A momentous moment for both Jay and us.

OUR FOUNDER

Behind the idea and vision

Corien Staels

WheelAir Founder and Managing Director

Corien started her journey in fashion and business but took a turn and suddenly found herself in the mobility industry. She started WheelAir while studying her Masters in Glasgow and has worked tirelessly since, winning many prizes and awards along the way.

OUR TEAM

Our expertise and experience

CORIEN STAELS

Corien Staels

Managing Director

Since learning about the challenges some wheelchair users experience with overheating and over sweating, Corien has been on a mission to make overheating and over sweating a thing of the past. Nothing motivates her more than hearing about how much of a positive impact WheelAir has had on someone's life.

David Reekie

David Reekie

Product Design Engineer

David Reekie has a degree in product design innovation and a masters in product design engineering. Over the past 10 years, he has worked in the medical and aviation sector. These heavily regulated industries have fitted him well with a keen eye for detail.

Susie Turnbull

Clinical Educator

Susie qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2000, working in the NHS and also as an independent practitioner. Her area of expertise lies in spinal cord injury rehabilitation, where she has enjoyed 14 years at the National Spinal Injuries Centre. Having also achieved a Masters in Design Research for Disability (2006), Susie is excited to join the WheelAir team, where she can combine her passions for a good idea and improving lives for people with disabilities.

WheelAir Team Photo Kayla Andrews

Kayla Andrews

Digital Marketing Coordinator

Kayla has a degree in Business & Management. Her focus is to use WheelAir's social media to help create buzz around the conversation of overheating, over sweating, and microclimate management.

ALBERT NICHOLL

Albert Nicholl

Chairman

A senior business leader within the Life Science and MedTech sector, having led successful businesses such as Orthofix and Stryker. He remains focused on delivering improved healthcare outcomes to people by mentoring and supporting entrepreneurial individuals.

BERNARD DEGROUX

Bernard Degroux

Non-Executive Director

Husband and father, Bernard loves to work with people, ideas and innovation. Former CEO of FMCG and currently a headhunter, he believes WheelAIR is so much more than a big idea or a blast of freshness: it is your “back-up daily friend”.

MAX ROGMANS

Max Rogmans

Non-Executive Director

Max is a Medical Doctor by training with a wide background in entrepreneurial activities involving medically oriented products. As Founder and CEO of Vicair he is a true industry veteran with a wealth of information to help make WheelAir a success.

SAFFIER BRULL

Saffier Brull

Non-Executive Director

As CEO of Skylla Europe, producer for several key wheelchair manufacturers, Saffier has become an expert in medical textile manufacturing and supply chain management, which is invaluable to a startup like WheelAir.

BRAND AMBASSADORS

The faces of WheelAir

WheelAir Shoot in Garden, Notting Hill, London with Samanta
"WheelAir will be a game-changer for wheelchair users. I turn it on before I get warm so I am in control of my temperature."

Samanta Bullock

Model, athlete and entrepreneur

Originally from Brazil, Samanta is a former Paralympic tennis player – she is now a model, influencer and entrepreneur living in London. Working as an advocate for inclusion within the fashion industry, Samanta has decided to join forces with some of the most innovative emerging designers to develop her brand, ‘SB’. She was keen to become a WheelAir ambassador because she loves the product and believes in our ethical and inclusive values.
Read Samanta’s case study
"I find overheating very, very uncomfortable. It’s also very hard to control. It limits what I can do – if it’s a hot day for instance, I’ve got to watch I don’t sit in the sun for too long or don’t do anything too excessive. I have to make sure I keep in the shade. It’s really tiring – not just because it exhausts my body, but because I’m constantly having to think about it. The WheelAir has been great not just for when I'm playing sport, but in everyday life too"

Michael Kerr

WheelAir Ambassador & Paralympic Wheelchair Rugby Player

Michael took up wheelchair rugby after breaking his neck in a swimming pool aged 17. He was selected to represent Great Britain at two Paralympics and three European Championships and captained team GB at the World Championships in 2014.
Read Michael's case study

OUR PROS

The community of WheelAir

SOPHIE BEVAN

Sophie Bevan

Student Service Office and Adventure Seeker

GILLIAN JONES

Gillian Jones

Talented nautical, military and landscape artist

DANIEL RYAN

Daniel Ryan

Tattoo artist and camping lover

RACHEL BROXTON

Rachel Broxton

Music and sport lover

Does WheelAir make a difference?

How does WheelAir impact users?

“I use to have to drink lots and lots of water because of overheating. Now with WheelAir, I no longer need to worry about that.”

Jay Anderson

Professional Athlete & Sports Coach

View Full Case Study