What a privilege to hand over 168 wheelchairs to needy beneficiaries at the Wheelchair Wednesday 2017 handover function!
We are overwhelmed by the support we received from SPAR Eastern Cape, Network of Caring – Southern Africa and Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium and all our other sponsors and participating companies who made this memorable day possible!
A special word of thanks to Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Mayor, Athol Trollip, and his Mayoral Committee Members for participating in this year’s campaign and attending the handover function.
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 executive director, Brian Beuizdenhout, said: “We want to involve businesses to see life from a disability point of view and we therefore invited company executives to spend four hours in a wheelchair and to submit a report about their experience. In this way, we can create awareness regarding issues relating to accessibility for people with disabilities within the business environment of Nelson Mandela Bay. We then help companies by assessments and recommending changes.”
In addition to the wheelchair handed over, we also raised in excess of R400 000 for our Ability Work 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 668 wheelchairs being donated to needy people over the last 6 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 2017 was our most successful to date!