“Spend 4 hours in a wheelchair and change a life”.
We are privileged to have been able to hand over in excess of 150 wheelchairs to needy people in partnership with our generous corporate partners and our title sponsor SPAR Eastern Cape at the SPAR Wheelchair Wednesday handover function held at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Among the guests who attended was newly-elected Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality mayor Athol Trollip, the deputy mayor Mr Bobani, the Speaker Mr Lawatt and 4 of the mayoral council members.
Once again the beneficiaries and guests were entertained by the extremely talented Lake Farm Band who put on a fine show for all.
APD Nelson Mandela Bay chairperson, Garth van Niekerk, said: “We are proud to announce that during the 5 years of Spar Wheelchair Wednesday’s existence, we have handed over 500 wheelchairs to Nelson Mandela Bay residents. We consider this to be life-changing and we salute business Nelson Mandela Bay for their ongoing support. This project, supported by Spar Eastern Cape is unique to South Africa and by far the biggest NGO wheelchair donation drive in the country. The awareness regarding the need for universal accessibility in our city has grown phenomenally recently and we welcome the public announcement from our local tourism authorities to make this a priority.”
In addition to the wheelchair handed over, we also raised in excess of R400 000 for our Job Creation Centres which provide life-changing skills training and employment opportunities for people with disabilities in the metro.
The project serves four important purposes:
Awareness: The four hours in the wheelchair is an unforgettable experience that changes mindsets forever. Over five year some 1000 participants of Spar Wheelchair Wednesday have been exposed to wheelchair related matters.
Community Support: The project has resulted in 500 wheelchairs being donated to needy people over the last 5 years.
Improving Accessibility: The vast improvements brought about in many local structures and the mindfulness of our local citizens to simple matters, like the importance of reserving Disabled Parking Bays for mobility impaired people is encouraging.
Fund raising: APD Nelson Mandela Bay provides job creation opportunities for some 100 people with disabilities at their workshops in Paterson Rd North End. With no assistance from local or national government and with running costs in access of five hundred thousand Rand per month, they need to reach out to business and individuals to help keep the doors open.
Thank you to everyone who participated this year and ensured that Wheelchair Wednesday 2016 was our most successful to date!