Possum was founded in 1961 by an engineer called Reginald Maling. Volunteering at the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, he encountered a young man who had been injured in a water-skiing accident. Totally paralysed from the neck down, and with very little voice, he could only signal to nurses by blowing on a whistle hung near his mouth. Maling designed a device which could be operated by sucking or blowing on a mouthpiece, enabling the patient to activate mechanisms for turning on the light or TV; later versions could even operate an electric typewriter. He called his invention Patient Operated Selector Mechanism, or POSM. Based on this, the word Possum – Latin for 'I can' was chosen as the name for the Company.
Possum's mission is to harness modern technology to empower people with disabilities and increase their independence. This vision is achieved by two means: through a business, Possum Limited, and a charity, the Possum Trust.
Possum Limited is an independent, privately owned British company which develops, manufactures, supplies, installs and supports electronic assistive technology products and systems. Possum also assesses clients’ needs and abilities, and trains and supports them in the use of their Electronic Assistive Technology (EAT) equipment. In April 2009, Possum Ltd received one of the most prestigious business awards in the UK, the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category.
The Possum Trust is an independent registered charity founded in 1984. It is a source of funds to provide Assistive Technology (AT) products and services from a wide number of different suppliers to people with special needs. Every year a proportion of the profits of Possum Limited is donated to the Possum Trust to support its important work. Please see the Possum Trust website.
Almost fifty years on, Possum is leading the development of new and innovative solutions to help people with a wider range of needs including the elderly and people with learning difficulties. As awareness of the benefits of AT increases, additional funds are becoming available from Government, charities and other sources to bring the benefits of AT to a greater number of people.
- Equality: Everyone has the right to be or become independent
- Empowerment: Possum solutions allow disabled and elderly people to carry out everyday tasks themselves and provide support through technology
- Excellence: Possum sets the highest standards in terms of product development and service
- Innovation: Possum designs pioneering products by listening to their customers and by using the latest technologies
- Dedication: Possum’s staff are dedicated to making life easier for their clients and carers
- Humanity: Possum’s ethical approach to supplying person-centred solutions ensures that the technology provided precisely meets the needs of each individual.
Possum is proud to provide GEWA products within the UK and (after acquisition) to develop, supply and support products from the former SRS Technology company.
Trade Associations and Registrations
Possum is a member of the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) and complies with its Code of Practice which has achieved Stage One of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCAS). Possum is also a member of the Telecare Services Association (TSA), Communication Matters and the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA). Participating supplier within the NHS PASA (Purchasing and Supply Agency) national framework agreement for Telecare.
Registered in England No: 711047 and is ISO 9001 Registered.
Registered office at:
8 Farmbrough Close,
Stocklake Park Industrial Estate, Aylesbury,