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athgarvan

Wheelchairs for Kids

Olly's wheelchairI was reading the other day about the wonderful new apostolate one of my confreres took on when he retired about 10 or 12 years ago in Perth, WA. Br. Olly Pickett had been teaching metal work for about 40 years when the Rotary Club in Scarborough asked him if it was possible to make a small wheelchair for disabled children. He began to put together parts of old bicycles and his great project began.

The Rotary Club and the Christian Brothers provided financial support and jointly rented a dedicated workshop for wheelchairs to be manufactured in Wangara. They sought volunteers to do the assembling under the guidance of Brother Olly. WA State Government agreed to pay the workshop rent. Soon they had 100 adult volunteers and Christian Brothers' Schools across Australia gave financial support. No money donated specifically for wheelchair production is used in administration; currently the Rotary Club Scarborough and The Christian Brothers underwrite this with the support of sponsorship.

Over 20,000 wheelchairs have now been produced and sent to war-stricken countries all over the world. Built to World Health Organisation standards, the wheelchairs are now designed to be adjusted with the growth of the child. The chairs, as Br Pickett says, give many children, normally confined to the ground, some dignity, mobility and “a chance to go out and play with their friends”.

Comments

What a truly beautiful thing.
Yes, isn't it.
This is such a fine project.

I worked with seriously disabled kids in my teaching days and know how much a good 'chair can revolutionise a disabled child's life. :o)
I regret not becoming involved in such a worthwhile project.
These are just marvelous. I've had your entry bookmarked so I would remember to come back and tell you so. Every time I glance at my friends list and see the picture, it gladdens my heart. I love that they can be adjusted as the child grows.
Thank you.
I concur with all the above.