Wheelchair Wednesday

The Wheelchair Wednesday Project is run by the Association for Persons with Physical Disabilities, in association with SPAR Eastern Cape. They really make a difference!

 

In August this year, SPAR representative Alan Stapelton spent 4 hours using a wheelchair to get his errands done. He said the experience was sobering and offered him a whole new perspective. We shared the story with you to show the work SPAR is doing in aid of people in wheelchairs.

This month SPAR’s ‘Wheelchair Wednesday’ project handed over 165 wheelchairs to needy residents in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro. It was organised by the Association for Persons with Physical Disabilities (APD), in association with SPAR Eastern Cape.

The concept has been running for just over six years now. APD chief executive Brian Bezuidenhout said creating awareness to the challenges that the people with disabilities face, is their main priority.  In the last six years, their project has funded over 668 as well as R2.4-million for needs within the various operational areas of APD in Nelson Mandela Bay.

“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 had an extensive involvement from members of the mayoral committee and executive mayor Athol Trollip, himself, spent time in a wheelchair.”

SPAR has been involved in the project for 5 years now and has been a massive roleplayer in making the project successful. Before Alan Stapleton spent his time in the wheelchair, he had been sidelined from his usual Squash game. He had felt sad and completely left out.

“And then I did Wheelchair Wednesday and what a humbling, eye-opening experience it was. I suddenly realised that I had so much to be thankful for.

“And whether it is a homeless person, someone on the street, a cancer patient or a parent waiting for their child to have a cleft palate operation, when we give someone some time and show we care, we give them hope.”

“We have all learnt to understand and we have all been changed. Hopefully, we have also become aware of how inadequate our facilities are.

“We may have just scratched the surface, but we have given 165 people a chance to move out of their houses, out of their immobility and experience the world.” – Alan Stapleton


Sources: Supplied
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Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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