News Archive 2015
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Celebrating International Day in Cape Town & Moorreesburg
This year QAWC attended and participated in two separate events to celebrate International Day of People with Disabilities.
The first took place on 1 December in Moorreesburg and was arranged by a local group of people with disabilities. QAWC had the opportunity to address those present, speak about the services that we offer and about some of the challenges faced by people with disabilities. On 3 December QAWC had a stand at the celebration that was hosted by The City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Network on Disability.
This event was attended by over 1500 people with disabilities who enjoyed visiting the various exhibits and danced along to be the music of various performers. QAWC was pleased to be involved in both events and had a good time celebrating and showcasing the ability that people with disabilities have.
Our drive to identify and reach wheelchair users in areas where we have previously not been active continues and took us to Moorreesburg, The Overberg and Stellenbosch. Peer supporters in these communities were introduced to the work That QAWC does and will identify wheelchair users in their communities and assist them to become members of QAWC. The QAWC team will be travelling to the West Coast early in January which will complete the first phase of this program.
The annual Lotto Indaba took place in Johannesburg. QAWC was represented at this indaba by Anda Mthulu who participated in discussions that were held about the way forward for the National Lottery Corporation (NLC).The newly rebranded NLC have some new ideas on how the funding process will work in the future and we were pleased to have Anda present at the indaba to represent QAWC’s interests. QAWC received funding from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) in the past and looks forward to working with the NLC to provide services to quadriplegics and paraplegics.
QAWC was approached by The Banking Association of South Africa (BASA) to hold a workshop in order to find out what challenges are faced by wheelchair users when trying to do their banking independently. Various relevant issues were raised by those who participated and a number of proposed solutions were made. A questionnaire was circulated amongst QAWC members via e-mail, our thanks to all who completed the questionnaire. We look forward to the various banks implementing the suggestions that you made.
Bidvest golf day
For the second year in a row QAWC were selected to be the beneficiaries of the Bidvest Western Cape Golf Day. The golf day, held at the beautiful De Zalze Golf Club, was attended by representatives of various Bidvest companies who came out in their numbers to enjoy and support the day.
A full field ensured that the golf day was a resounding success and QAWC would like to express their sincere thanks to all at Bidvest for their incredible support of our organisation.
Disability Sensitisation Training-HG Travelling Services
QAWC was appointed to do disability sensitisation training with the drivers and staff of HG Travelling Services who are the new operators of the City of Cape Town’s Dial-a-Ride service.
Staff members were taught how to speak to, interact and work with people with disabilities and at the end of the training were far more confident and knowledgeable about how to deal with people with disabilities than before.
The training also allowed QAWC to establish a relationship with the new service provider and we now know exactly who to contact when compliments or constructive criticism is required.
Support group at Life Rehabilitation Centre
The second meeting of the support group which took place on 5 November was well attended by both inpatients, former clients and wheelchair users from the community. A number of issues relevant to wheelchair users were discussed and a large amount of information was shared. Representatives from the Brave Foundation were invited to make a presentation. They shared and demonstrated breathing techniques which are beneficial to quadriplegics and paraplegics. These meetings take place on the first Thursday of every month (except January) at 10 AM. All QAWC members are welcome, we hope to see you there.
30 days for 30 wheelchairs
After recovering from an injury which resulted in a temporary loss of mobility, TJ, a young man from Johannesburg undertook to walk from Johannesburg to Cape Town in order to raise funds and awareness for QASA. TJ’s goal was to raise funds for 30 wheelchairs for members of the QuadPara Association.
TJ arrived in Cape Town on 30 November and a team from QAWC were on hand to welcome him to our city and accompany him on the last 1.5 km of his epic journey. As we walked with him TJ shared stories about his 30 days on the road and we were struck by his determination to make a difference to this world. Members are reminded about QASA & QAWC assistive device fund, please contact the office if you require a wheelchair or any other assistive device.
Please note that the QAWC office will be closed from 18 December-4 January 2016. The QAWC management board and staff wish all QAWC members, supporters and friends all the best over the festive season and a happy, healthy and safe 2016.
(Click on images to enlarge.)
Bidvest Unity Walk
On 16 August 2015 more than 9000 Bidvest employees and members of their families made their way to the Cape Town Stadium in Green Point to participate in the annual Bidvest Unity Walk. A few QAWC members and staff members joined in the fun and completed the 10 km fun walk which was along the Sea Point promenade.
After the walk participants were treated to some live entertainment in the stadium before a representative from QAWC handed over a token of appreciation from QASA to the Bidvest officials.
The slogan of the day was “Walking for Those Who Can’t” with Bidvest donating one wheelchair to QASA for every 75 Bidvest employees who participated. QAWC members in need of a wheelchair can get an application form from the office.
QAWC received support for the Campaign from various corporates, schools and sent teams to 2 shopping centres to sell stickers.
A number of QAWC members made use of the opportunity to generate some income for themselves by selling stickers.
The 2015 Casual Day campaign was very successful with QAWC selling more than double the amount of stickers that we sold in 2014. Our thanks to everyone who supported the campaign.
Transport Focus Group
The lack of an accessible integrated public transport system continues to have a negative impact on the lives of wheelchair users. The DG Murray Trust are aware of this problem and while they realise that they alone cannot solve the problem they are looking for solutions.
The DG Murray Trust have enlisted consultants to investigate innovative solutions and these consultants asked QAWC to host a focus group at our offices which we did on 23 September 2015. Eight members attended the focus group, with a very healthy discussion taking place around the table. A questionnaire was circulated to all QAWC members, our sincere thanks to all members who completed the questionnaire. Your input will go a long way towards developing a new transport option for wheelchair users.
The QASA AGM took place at the Gateway Hotel, Umhlanga just outside Durban on 12 September. The AGM presented the opportunity for the QASA Chairperson, Treasurer & CEO to report to members on the
organisation’s achievements and successes of the previous year. In addition to this, each region presented a report on their activities during the 2014/2015.
After the AGM the first management meeting of the year took place. Office bearers were elected with Raven Benny (Western Cape) once again elected to the position of chairperson. The vice chairperson is Vusi Ndimeni (KZN), Cedric Hedgecock (KZN) the treasurer with Norman Wright (Gauteng South) completing the executive committee. The 2016 QASA AGM will be held in Cape Town, watch this space for details.
Road Accident Fund on the Road Campaign
On Saturday 19th September the Road Accident Fund held their latest “On the Road” campaign in Khayalitsha. Road safety and the prevention of accidents is a priority of QAWC and because of this QAWC was invited to participate in this event.
Anda Mthulu represented QAWC at this initiative, ensuring that our brand was prominently displayed. Anda informed people about QAWC and the Road safety campaigns that QAWC participates in. License disks displaying the slogan “Buckle up-We Don’t Want New Members” were handed out as were branded airfreshners for cars which warned their users about the dangers of Distracted Driving.
GrandWest CSI Golf Day
The annual GrandWest Charity Golf Day took place at Erinvale Golf Club in Somerset West on 25 September. QAWC were delighted to be the chosen beneficiaries of this year’s event and attended the prize-giving/dinner function. At the dinner all the players were introduced to QAWC and the projects, programmes and services that we offer. The event was attended by several celebrities including the current Miss South Africa Ms Liesl Laurie. All the funds
received from the golf day will go towards maintaining and sustaining current QAWC programs and projects.
Southern Cape Peer Supporters
QAWC has started rolling out our Rural Outreach Project which sees QAWC making contact with quadriplegics and paraplegics in areas where we have not previously been active. In order to achieve this QAWC is teaming up with APD peer supporters across the province.
These peer supporters go into their communities and interact with people with disabilities in their own homes and environment and offer them support, information and refer them to appropriate service providers. QAWC met with peer supporters in the Southern Cape, including Beaufort West, Knysna, Oudtshoorn & Riversdale to introduce them to the work that QAWC does. These peer supporters who live in smaller communities outside the larger towns are now equipped with knowledge and information about QAWC and will recruit wheelchair users in their communities for QAWC. This will assist QAWC to have a larger footprint in the province and often vital support and services to more quadriplegics and paraplegics.
Welcome Anda Mthulu
QAWC is delighted to welcome Anda Mthulu to our team. Anda, whose left leg was amputated after he was caught in the crossfire of a robbery, joined QAWC as an intern through the HWSETA in March last year. After a successful internship Anda was offered a short-term contract and wasted no time in proving his worth to QAWC. Anda who lives in Khayalitsha, has now been offered a more long-term position and we are pleased to have him on board. Anda currently facilitates computer training at the WCRC twice a week, assists in our Digital Village, is one of the presenters of our awareness campaign and is often deployed to represent QAWC at functions and events. We look forward to Anda growing and developing with QAWC.
If you would like to download a Pdf of the above Newsletter, please click on the link below:
Grandslots Grant Boosts Safety
The QAWC Toyota Quantum received a much-needed makeover and safety upgrade thanks to a grant made by Grandslots. The tiedown system in the vehicle was old and ineffective, so QAWC were delighted to receive funds from Grandslots to have a state of the art, top of the range tiedown system fitted. This means that QAWC is now able to transport wheelchair users far more safely than before. In addition to this, the faded branding of the vehicle was also redone. The vehicle is utilised on a daily basis,transporting wheelchair users to and from our digital village, on our awareness campaigns as well as for other operational requirements. QAWC is extremely grateful to Grandslots for their ongoing support and generosity which has a positive impact on the lives of wheelchair users on a daily basis.
Swartland Municipality Access & Community Engagement
QAWC was invited by the Swartland Municipality to be a guest presenter at a workshop for people with disabilities held in the region. QAWC took the opportunity to introduce our services, projects and programmes to 80 people with disabilities living in these rural communities. QAWC was also given the task of visiting 19 of their municipal buildings to gauge the level of accessibility for wheelchair users. It was a very interesting exercise, with not one facility being fully compliant and therefore totally accessible to wheelchair users.
Recommendations on how to improve the accessibility of these buildings were made and there are plans to do the renovations that will make these libraries, town halls, community centres and swimming pools accessible for wheelchair users. This newly developed relationship with the Swartland Municipality will enable QAWC to extend our footprint and offer our services to wheelchair users living in the Swartland Municipal District.
Casual Day 2015
The annual Casual Day campaign is almost upon us. Taking place on Friday 4 September this national fundraising initiative aims to raise funds for organisations that provide services in the field of disability. The QuadPara Association of South Africa is a beneficiary and as such the opportunity exists for all QAWC members to “Spring into Action” by getting involved and selling stickers.
Casual day is promoted nationally via radio, television, newspaper, magazines and online media and QAWC is also able to provide you with all sorts of bright and fun promotional material to assist you to sell stickers. The stickers sell for R 10 each and are available from Esmé in the QAWC office. For more information or to order your stickers and promotional materials please contact Esmé on 021 975 6078.
Raising awareness in Vredenburg & Saldanha
During the last week of May we enjoyed a very successful awareness campaign along the West Coast. We received a grant from the Department of Social Development that made this possible. The team of four wheelchair users braved the cold weather and visited eight schools in the Vredenburg and Saldanha area over 2 & a half days.
We were well received at the different schools.
The learners were not just educated on disability issues and etiquette but also the importance of making the right choices in life. Gathered from the feedback we received, we made a huge impact and many of the schools invited the team back to share this information with more of their learners. Our thanks to team members Heiron, Brenton, Richard and Anda and all the helpers for participating in this important project and working to change perceptions of wheelchair users.
To view the reports below please click on the links below: