Worthing carpenter’s unique bench design for disabled people becomes national success

Joe Colwell at one of his benches in West Park, Worthing
Joe Colwell at one of his benches in West Park, Worthing

A Tarring carpenter, who has designed a unique range of benches suitable for wheelchair users, said his business has gone from ‘strength to strength’ since its inception four years ago.

World of Benches was launched after Joe Colwell spotted a young wheelchair user awkwardly positioned at the end of a bench while he was celebrating his fiftieth birthday at a park.

Joe Colwell at one of his benches in West Park, Worthing

Joe Colwell at one of his benches in West Park, Worthing

“They didn’t look comfortable and they weren’t part of the group,” he said, and so his idea for a specially designed bench catering for both able bodied people and wheelchair users was born.

Five years later and Mr Colwell’s benches can be seen in every park in Worthing as well as many parks across the country.

“They’ve been incredibly popular,” he said.

“It’s been a very interesting journey, I’ve met some amazing people and been to some fantastic places.”

The company won the start up of the year award at the Adur and Worthing Business Awards 2015 – but Mr Colwell said the biggest reward was seeing wheelchair users making use of the benches.

“It’s lovely to see people in wheelchairs enjoying themselves,” he said. “It’s absolutely brilliant.”

Looking forward, Mr Colwell is expanding his range by developing a new, circular bench.

SEE MORE: What happens next with plans for IKEA in Lancing?

Worthing manager fined for parking on his own land

Worthing clean-up will put the beach ‘to bed’ for winter