If you would like to download a Pdf of the above Newsletter, please click on the link below:
Covid Relief Effort: Grocery Vouchers, Hand Sanitiser & Masks
The economic impact of the lockdown affected many of our members in a big way and QAWC is grateful to have been able to offer assistance in a very real manner. We put out several calls for our members to apply for grocery vouchers and we are pleased to have been able to distribute 178 vouchers valued at R 500 each over the last few months. We were also able to distribute 300 material masks that were branded with the QAWC logo to keep our members and their caregivers safe. QAWC delivered 50 X 1 Litre bottles of hand sanitiser to members who responded to our correspondence inviting those who were in need of hand sanitiser to apply to us for assistance. With the economy opening up again this relief effort has now come to an end and we reflect on our relief effort with gratitude and pride at being able to assist our members during this time of crisis in such a tangible way.
Held in July every year, QAWC’s Annual General Meeting has traditionally been well attended with members taking the opportunity to renew old friendships, meet new members, network and catch up. However, with the Covid-19 related lockdown placing a limit on the amount of people allowed to gather at any one time, QAWC was forced to embrace technology and host this year’s AGM online making use of the Zoom platform. The AGM, which was attended by a total of 25 people, was held on the 25th July with members from outlying areas such as Montagu, Ceres and Yzerfontein able to join the meeting. With 2020 being an election year, QAWC said goodbye and thank you to the outgoing Chairperson, Glenn Millen, who led the organisation for 4 years. The Chairperson, Treasurer and General Manager tabled and shared their reports, which reflected on the previous 12 month period. With all the reports done, the election of the QAWC Board for 2020-2022 took place. In addition to the election of the Board, the QAWC representatives to serve on the QASA Board were elected, with this responsibility being entrusted to Richard Barron and Anthony Ghillino. At the 1st meeting of the new Board which took place immediately after the AGM, the election of office bearers took place and we can report that The QAWC Executive Committee will be made up as follows:
- Chairperson: Casper Erasmus.
- Vice Chairperson: Whilma Liedeman
- Treasurer: Richard Barron
- Additional member: James Trichardt
Thanks to QASA and the HWSETA, QAWC hosted Nazeem Khan on a year-long internship where he proved himself to be hard-working, reliable, determined and eager to learn. Nazeem’s internship came to an end at the end of August and QAWC were pleased to offer him the position of QAWC Communications officer. Although the position of Communications Officer is a part-time one, Nazeem has wasted no time and given 100% to his role. Nazeem’s responsibilities include managing the QAWC social media page and Facebook users will be aware of the daily themed posts which are made. In addition to Facebook, Nazeem has established a QAWC profile and presence on LinkedIn which is showing good growth with interactions growing steadily. In the new year Nazeem, who is in the process of completing an online social media course, will create a presence for QAWC on Twitter and other social media platforms as well. Please be sure to find us on the various social media sites and like and follow our pages. We look forward to Nazeem increasing QAWC’s visibility on social media. Welcome Nazeem!
On 17 October 2020, the QASA AGM took place virtually with members from all over the country joining to hear about the achievements and challenges of the past year. Changes to the QASA Constitution had been proposed which resulted in all eligible members voting either for or against the proposed changes. The majority of members voted in favour of the changes that were proposed and it was then left to the QASA COO to deliver his comprehensive report. With the AGM over, the new QASA Board met and elected the office bearers for the coming year. The QASA Executive Committee Is as follows:
- Chairperson: Simon Manganye
- Vice Chairperson: Anthony Ghillino
- Treasurer: Richard Barron
- Additional member: Jabu Shai
Disability Sensitisation Training at HG Travelling Services
QAWC was contacted by HG Travelling Services, the service provider for the City of Cape Town’s Dial-a-Ride service, who requested that we do Disability Sensitisation Training with all their staff members, including Dial-a-Ride drivers and call centre staff. The training, which took place over a four-day period at their depot in Bellville, aimed to build the confidence of the delegates who attended and teach them the correct way to interact with persons with disabilities. The training was done while following strict Covid 19 protocols and was received very enthusiastically by the HG Travelling Services team. QAWC hopes that the staff members who attended the training will put what they learned into practice and treat persons with disabilities that they come into contact with appropriately.
100 Material Masks from Smile 90.4FM
QAWC was pleased and surprised to be the recipient of 100 material masks from popular radio station Smile 90.4FM. We were contacted by a representative of Smile90.4FM to inform us that we were nominated by a member of the public to receive masks for our members. QAWC was very excited to be one of the nominated organisations selected to receive masks. Our sincere thanks to Smile 90.4fm for assisting to protect our members. We are also very grateful to the member of the public who nominated QAWC to receive the masks. As we were never given your name we can’t thank you personally, however we would like to express our gratitude to you for taking the time to nominate QAWC to be a recipient of this initiative.
Advertising member’s businesses
Do you own or run a business? If so, QAWC offers you the opportunity to promote your business on our social media platforms. On Tuesdays we take the time to advertise the businesses of our members on the QAWC Facebook page. Using the handle #tradingtuesday we put the spotlight on a business of a member every week in the hope that the exposure will help to grow their company. If you would like your business to be promoted on our social media platforms, please send information about your business, some photographs and a bit about yourself to our Communications Officer, Nazeem, using his e-mail address which is email@example.com. We look forward to promoting your business on our social media pages.
Old Mutual recognise Richard’s volunteerism at QAWC
When not giving up his time to assist quadriplegics and paraplegics, Richard Barron, the QAWC Treasurer is an employee at insurance giant Old Mutual. A wheelchair user as a result of a diving accident a number of years ago, Richard who has served on the QAWC Board in various capacities over the years, has had his dedication and service to our organisation recognised by his employer. Richard was a finalist in the 2020 Old Mutual Staff Volunteerism Awards, eventually being declared the winner of the Gold Award. This recognition of the contribution made by Richard to our organisation is well deserved and we are proud to have a member and volunteer of our organisation receive such a prestigious award. Well done and thank you Richard!
QAWC has heard from a number of members who have struggled to receive adequate supplies from their day hospital. During the lockdown the situation with the shortage of supplies worsened and QAWC was grateful to be able to secure funding to purchase much-needed medical supplies for our members. This funding which came from the Australian High Commission was used to purchase items which were flagged as a problem by our members, including catheters, penal sheaths (condom catheters), urine drainage bags, KY jelly, linen savers and surgical gloves. In addition to these supplies, QAWC received a donation of incontinence products from Coloplast which were also made available to members. Members were given the opportunity to apply for these supplies by e-mailing the QAWC office. Deliveries were made to members at their homes and we were pleased to be able to assist 35 members with these much-needed medical supplies.
Casual Day, the annual fundraising campaign that raises funds for organisations that offer support and services to persons with disabilities was unfortunately also affected by the National lockdown. Originally scheduled to take place on the 1st Friday of September, the difficult decision was made to postpone the initiative this year. With Casual Day now scheduled to take place on 3 December, the fundraising campaign will coincide with International Day for Persons with Disabilities and provide us with the opportunity to celebrate our disability and Casual Day at the same time. This year’s stickers will sell for R20 each with members able to retain a portion of each sticker that they sell. For more information or to order your stickers please contact our Administration manager, Esme at firstname.lastname@example.org
The QAWC office team will be enjoying a much needed break over the festive season with the QAWC office closing on 18 December 2020 and reopening on 11 January 2021. The staff and management of QAWC take this opportunity to wish our members, their families, our supporters, partners and friends all the very best over the December and January festive season. To those who are travelling, please be careful on the roads and we hope that everyone will continue to be mindful of the fact that we are in the middle of a pandemic. Please be sure to follow all protocols and avoid crowds, close contact with others and being with people in confined spaces. We wish you all the very best, may 2021 bring good health, happiness and success to you.
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QAWC, in partnership with QASA, circulated the opportunity for members to receive food vouchers to the value of R 500. These vouchers, which could be used at any Checkers or Shoprite store, were sent to members via SMS. We were able to provide 28 members with this much needed assistance and are grateful to QASA for the funds they made available to QAWC for this. QAWC has subsequently received funding which will enable us to provide more of these vouchers to more members across the province over the next few months, so if you are in need of groceries, please will you make contact with Esme and ensure that your name is on our waiting list using the email@example.com e-mail address. When you provide your details, please make sure that the cell phone number that you provide is correct as the voucher will be sent to that number. In addition to the food vouchers distributed by QAWC directly, we were also very pleased to forward an opportunity to get food vouchers that was made available by the Quadriplegic and Paraplegic Charitable Trust. We were pleased to see that a number of our members made use of this opportunity to secure vouchers and were able to purchase much-needed groceries and supplies. Please monitor your e-mails regularly for more similar opportunities.
QAWC Masks, Hand Sanitiser and PPE
It has now been confirmed that wearing face masks that cover your nose and mouth properly greatly reduces the risk of contracting the Covid-19 virus. It is one of the few tools that we have to protect ourselves and others from being infected. With this in mind, QAWC has had 300 material facemasks manufactured for distribution to QAWC members. 200 of these masks have been given to the WCRC to distribute to wheelchair users who access the facility who are in need of a mask. The remaining 100 masks will be distributed to QAWC members, so, if you are in need of a material mask please make contact with the office and we will provide you with one while we have stock. The masks, which were made by a paraplegic member of QAWC, all have 3 layers as recommended by the Department of Health and also comes with a list of instructions which tell you how to correctly wear as well as look after material masks. We hope that these masks will assist to keep our members safe and healthy. Practising good hygiene is essential to help combat Covid-19 and we are pleased to be able to offer hand sanitiser to members in order to ensure that your hands and those of our carers are sanitised regularly. We also have access to PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) which members can use for themselves and provide to the carers who offer much-needed assistance to us. Please contact the office to submit your request for assistance with these items.
We have been contacted by members who have expressed that they are currently not being provided with sufficient medical supplies from their day hospital/clinic. We realise that this has a severe impact on the lives of our members and with this in mind, we have secured a limited amount of funding which will enable us to purchase supplies in bulk which will then be distributed to members in need. Should you require specific medical supplies please be sure to make contact with the QAWC office on firstname.lastname@example.org to see which of the supplies that we have you will be able to make use of. QAWC was very pleased to be able to supply Turfhall Cheshire Homes with an order of linen savers as they had expressed that they were experiencing a shortage of these vital supplies. The linen savers were delivered to Turfhall Cheshire Homes and will hopefully assist to ease the shortage they were experiencing. We are excited to be able to offer these supplies to members across the province, so even if you live outside of the Cape Town area we will be able to get some supplies through to you. As always, funding for this is limited so please make contact with the QAWC office as soon as possible to improve your chances of receiving assistance.
QASA’s Work Readiness Program
In the year since being launched, the Work Readiness Program has proved to be extremely successful in changing the lives of quadriplegics and paraplegics. The arrival of Covid-19 in South Africa meant that the programme had to be suspended towards the end of March and with the lockdown in force and the need to maintain social distancing to continue for the foreseeable future, there was uncertainty as to whether the program would be able to continue. We are excited to announce that the team at QASA has been extremely busy finding a solution and that the Work Readiness Program will indeed be going ahead on an online platform! This is awesome news and everyone at QAWC is excited by the possibilities that moving the course online brings. Moving the program online means that participants don’t have to worry about sourcing reliable transport to commute to the training centre every day and also means that any person in any town or city across the country is able to participate. The Work Readiness Program will continue to strive to “Bridge the Gap to Employment” for our members and we strongly encourage any of you our members who meet the criteria to consider enrolling for this program. If you are interested in attending, please send an e-mail to email@example.com or call QASA on 031 767 0348 to express your interest.
In line with the government regulations and recommendations, the QAWC team is working from home as much as possible in order to minimise the risk of being exposed to Covid-19. This means that the office is only staffed for a limited amount of hours per week so please do not visit the office without 1st making sure that one of the team members will be there. Any visitors to the office will be expected to wear a mask and adhere strictly to the various protocols that are in place to restrict the spread of the Covid-19 virus. While we are not on site, e-mails continue to be monitored on an ongoing basis and we can be contacted on the office cellphone. The office landline is checked for messages every other day, so if you leave a message a team member will be in touch with you within a minimum of 48 hours.
QAWC AGM, Board & Election
At QAWC July is AGM month, with our organisation’s AGM traditionally been held on the last Saturday of July for a number of years. The QAWC Board has decided that this year will be no different, except that because of the restrictions on gatherings, the meeting will be an online meeting on 25 July 2020 rather than face-to-face as in years gone by. The QAWC office will send you a link via e-mail which you can click on in order to join in and follow proceedings of the AGM. This can be done on your smart phone, laptop, tablet or PC. While we are going to miss seeing our members and catching up with everyone, we are excited that moving to this online platform will enable members from far afield to be a part of the AGM. This year is an election year and as such we would encourage you to nominate a person/people who you would like to see represent you on the QAWC Board. Board meetings are held once a Month and there is no need to travel to the monthly meeting as they too are held online. QAWC is grateful to the individuals who have volunteered to serve on the Board for the last 2 years and hopes to welcome many of them back for another term. We are also keen to see some new members elected to the Board where they can make their mark on the organisation and the direction that we move in. Nomination forms have been circulated to all members via e-mail and must reach the office by no later than 11 July 2020. If you would like to serve on the Board or nominate someone to serve on the Board be sure to make contact with the QAWC office.
With social distancing an absolute must at the moment, a number of programs which include some of our members favourite programmes such as Buckle Up, Driving Ambitions, Our Awareness Program, Disability Sensitisation Training Workshops etc are currently on hold and will return when it is safe to do so. However, we are pleased to report that members can still access and benefit from programs and projects such as our SABAT Wheelchair Battery Project, Education Fund, Assistive Device Fund and the Sports Fund. Of course, as indicated in the newsletter above, we’re also going to be in a position to distribute food vouchers and medical supplies to members so even though we are having to do things differently, QAWC continues to service you, our members.
If you would like to download a Pdf of the above Newsletter, please click on the link below:
Click on the images to enlarge
The QASA Work Readiness Program in Cape Town
QASA’s flagship program, the Work Readiness Program which aims to bridge the gap to employment for persons with disabilities has continued to impact positively on the lives of all candidates who join the program. At the beginning of February we welcomed 5 new candidates to the Training Centre at the QAWC office in Durbanville. The candidates arrived with mixed emotions, mainly a combination of excitement and nervousness. This group was the 5th intake in total since this program was launched on 1 April 2019, with the program going from strength to strength in this time. The candidates expressed how much they enjoyed the varied nature of the modules, with those that deal with stress management, working in a team and time management proving to be very popular. Unfortunately while candidates were completing their 1 week of workplace experience, the Corona Virus pandemic arrived in South Africa. In the interests of keeping all candidates safe and healthy, the difficult decision was made by QASA to suspend the WRP until at least the end of April. With just 2 weeks of classes left, the candidates who made up Intake One of 2020 remain determined to graduate as soon as it is safe to do so and we look forward to celebrating their awesome achievement with them! Interviews for Intake 2 have already taken place, with successful candidates notified. However, because of the uncertainty in our country and world at the moment we are not quite sure exactly when this group will be able to start their journey. If you are interested in attending the Work Readiness Program please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org where Nazeem will be able to provide you with all the information you require. Be sure to make contact with Nazeem so that you’re ready to be part of the program once the Corona Virus crisis has passed.
Driving Ambitions / Driving Ambitions Rural
The Driving Ambitions and Driving Ambitions Rural project makes driving a reality for individuals with mobility impairments. With the Driving Ambitions Rural project QAWC have the opportunity to bring individuals from around the Western Cape to complete their driving lessons and to undertake their driving test.
A few weeks ago, two of our participants Brent Petersen (Driving Ambitions Rural) and Danyal Salmon (Driving Ambitions) were successful in obtaining their driver’s license. Two humble yet determined individuals from different parts of the country with the common desire to acquire their drivers’ licence. On the 6th and 7th of March they did just that. Both Brent and Danyal could not describe how overwhelmed they were by achieving this milestone in their lives. QAWC and QASA applaud Brent and Danyal on their achievements and wish them the best with future endeavours. Driving Ambitions is the centre of excellence in driver training for persons with mobility impairments to be mobile and independent, which in turn allows employment opportunities, social freedom and offers life changing accreditation.
CRICKET AT NEWLANDS CRICKET GROUND
In January and February of this year, South Africans were treated to a bumper cricket season with visits to the country by England and Australia. The beautiful Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town was once again host to 3 international matches, the New Year’s test match and a One-Day International against England and T20 match against Australia. Tickets for all 3 matches were in great demand, with tickets sold out days in advance. We were fortunate to once again receive a full complement of tickets which were available to QAWC members at no cost. The demand for tickets was at an all-time high and those who were fortunate enough to receive tickets through our lucky draw were excited to be able to attend. While not all of the results went South Africa’s way, a good time was had by everyone who attended, with the experience of attending world-class cricket at Newlands a memory that will stay with our members for years to come. We are very grateful to the Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA) who very generously made the suite available to us for the use of our members. There was a huge demand for suites and tickets to the New Year’s test match against England in particular and it is heartening to know that the WPCA put supporting wheelchair users in Cape Town before profit. Thank you WPCA.
The Annual OCC Wheelchair Race in George
This year the annual OCC in George returned to its familiar spot on the calendar, taking place on 15 February. Wheelchair users from all around the country and the continent made their way to George to participate in the event which continues to grow in popularity. With various race categories, ranging from the 42.2 km marathon and the 21.1 km half marathon for the endurance athletes, to the shorter 10 km race and the 5 km fun event there was something for everyone to enjoy and participate in. QAWC partnered with QASA to have an information stand at the race registration on Friday 14 February as well as at the race village on Saturday 15 February. The small team made use of the opportunity to connect with existing members and old friends while informing them of the latest programs, projects and happenings in the organisation. We were able to meet with a number of new members who were introduced to our organisation. This year, thanks to the QASA Sports Fund, QAWC were able to assist a total of 4 groups comprising of 40 QAWC members to participate in the event. From the
smiles on their faces it was evident that a good time was had by all! QASA and QAWC also held a Facebook competition at the event, with the person/people in the photograph on our Facebook page that received the most likes winning a bag full of goodies. The competition winner was Fizel De Vries, a regular visitor to the OCC over the years. Planning has already started for next year’s OCC which will again be taking place in February, so start to get your group together so that you too can enjoy the fun in 2021!
Some information to stay safe and healthy. The most important thing you can do is wash your hands frequently, for at least 20 seconds each time. Wash them regularly, before you eat and other times that you are touching surfaces. You can also use a hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol. Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth, viruses can enter your body that way. Wipe down objects and surfaces frequently with household cleaner, which will kill the virus.
Wash your hands frequently
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that maybe on your hands.
Maintain social distancing
Maintain at least 1.5 metre distance between yourself and anyone especially if they are coughing or sneezing.
When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing or sneezing has the disease.
Touching your face
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
Practice respiratory hygiene
Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Droplets spread the virus. By following good respiratory hygiene, you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention. National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area.
DO’S AND DON’TS
- Stay at home
- Cover your nose and mouth with disposable tissue when coughing or sneezing
- Frequently wash your hands with soap and water
- Avoid crowded places
- Keep at least 1.5 metre distance from people
- Get adequate sleep and rest
- Drink plenty of water/liquids and eat nutritious food
- Cough or sneeze without covering your mouth and nose
- Don’t go to crowed areas
- Touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
- Hug, kiss and shake hands while greeting
- Spitting in public places
- Dispose of used tissues or napkins in open areas
- Touch surfaces usually used by public
You don’t have to worry about catching COVID-19 from your pets – the coronavirus has infected hundreds of thousands of humans around the world but not a single dog or cat has been harmed by it and won’t be. National and international health organisations continue to assure pet owners that dogs and cats CANNOT contract or transmit COVID-19. You can interact with your pet as normal, including playing and feeding. You should continue to practice good hygiene during these interactions (eg. wash hands before and after interacting with your pet. Ensure that your pet is kept well-groomed, regularly clean your pet’s food and water bowls, bedding and toys.
BE SAFE, BE SMART AND BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER. TOGETHER WE CAN BEAT THIS!!!