‘Wheelchair Wednesday’ makes huge impact

2018-10-17 06:05
< Back row from left are, Spar EC sponsorship and events manager Alan Stapleton, Spar EC sponsorships assistant Debadene Baatjies, Nelson Mandela Bay MMC constituency services Itumeleng Ranyele, Nelson Mandela Bay deputy mayor Thsonono Buyeye, Association for Persons with Physical Disabilities chief executive Brian Bezuidenhout and (front) wheelchair recipients Elizabeth Shadrach and Sitshaba Maqasha.   Photo:FULL STOP        COMMUNICATIONS

< Back row from left are, Spar EC sponsorship and events manager Alan Stapleton, Spar EC sponsorships assistant Debadene Baatjies, Nelson Mandela Bay MMC constituency services Itumeleng Ranyele, Nelson Mandela Bay deputy mayor Thsonono Buyeye, Association for Persons with Physical Disabilities chief executive Brian Bezuidenhout and (front) wheelchair recipients Elizabeth Shadrach and Sitshaba Maqasha. Photo:FULL STOP COMMUNICATIONS

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THE Wheelchair Wednesday campaign, sponsored by SPAR Eastern Cape, continues to make a massive impact within the physically disabled community, with 180 wheelchairs being handed over this year.

Run each year in Nelson Mandela Bay by the Association for Persons with Physical Disabilities (APD), the project takes place each Wednesday in August when community and business leaders are invited to spend four hours in a wheelchair. For the first time this year a school became involved when Collegiate schoolgirls joined the project.

The campaign is aimed at raising awareness about the challenges those with mobility difficulties face in society, as well as generating funds to purchase wheelchairs and support the APD’s Work Centres for those with disabilities.

APD chief executive Brian Bezuidenhout said they were thrilled to receive support for a second year from Network of Caring, who donated funds to purchase the wheelchairs.

It all came to fruition at a recent function at the Nelson Mandela Stadium when a total of 150 wheelchairs were donated. A further 30 will be handed over at Jeffreys Bay on October 25.

“We were also able to raise funds totalling just over R460 000 for the APD Work Centres,” said Bezuidenhout, adding that in seven years they had handed over more than 800 wheelchairs.

“Every person who has become involved has had their mind changed and this has been crucial in creating awareness of the many challenges the disabled face,” added Bezuidenhout.

SPAR EC sponsorship and events manager Alan Stapleton said Wheelchair Wednesday was a special project in which they were able to join hands with corporates to make a difference for those in need.

“We so often take the simple things in life for granted, but if you spend four hours in a wheelchair you suddenly realise how difficult those things can be. It is also a lesson as to how inadequate some of our facilities are for those in wheelchairs,” said Stapleton.

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