Ground-breaking charity changes thousands of lives
PUBLISHED: 12:00 18 February 2015 | UPDATED: 15:28 18 February 2015
GENEROUS supporters have so far raised £20,000 to improve the lives of disabled people around the world.
Backwell charity Motivation launched its Wheels in Motion campaign in November with the help of TV star Michael Palin.
The campaign aims to change the lives of more than 100,000 disabled people by 2017 by providing them with low-cost wheelchairs, training them how to use them and educating communities on how they can support people with mobility issues.
A charity spokesman said: “At the last count the appeal had raised almost £20,000 including gift aid, which we are thrilled with and want to take this opportunity to thank North Somerset Times readers for the contributions they made. We have been overwhelmed by their generosity.”
The £20,000 raised could provide 142 people with a wheelchair, or enable 400 disabled people to take part in a wheelchair skills training session.
It could also be used to buy 1,666 pressure relief cushions to protect people from life-threatening pressure sores caused by ill-fitting wheelchairs.
Ahsan, from Pakistan, is one of the 19,000 people helped by Motivation’s work last year.
Ahsan suffers from cerebral palsy and lives in a camp with his family.
When he was first diagnosed his parents knew nothing about the disability and how to get support.
He was given an old orthopaedic wheelchair which was so big he had to be strapped into it with ropes, which was distressing for him.
As he grew, his mum could not push the wheelchair over the rough ground so Ahsan became isolated in his shelter home.
Last year, Motivation provided training for several disability organisations across Pakistan to show them how to assess and fit children with the right wheelchairs and Ahsan was one of the first to benefit.
His new wheelchair has transformed his life as it supports his posture and moves easily over the uneven ground so he can go on walks with his family.
His mum Fatima said: “When we change his clothes, he understands that he is going outside in the wheelchair and is excited.
“I have a friend in my child now. He can’t talk with us but he walks with us.”
The charity is working with the World Health Organisation to stop the mass distribution of second-hand wheelchairs which can result in users getting pressure sores.
It was also asked by the International Paralympic Committee to design low-cost sports wheelchairs to enable more people from developing countries to compete in the Paralympics and take part in sport.
This year the charity will be focusing on East Africa and South Asia, where the need is greatest. To find out more about the charity’s work visit www.motivation.org.uk
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