Volunteers from Backwell open wheelchair centre in India

PUBLISHED: 18:00 27 April 2019

John and Jane Sleigh opening the wheelchair centre in Kerala.

John and Jane Sleigh opening the wheelchair centre in Kerala.


A couple from Backwell were given the honour of opening a new wheelchair centre in southern India.

John and Jane Sleigh, who are volunteers with international mobility charity Motivation, were invited to open the first purpose-built wheelchair assessment centre in Kerala.

The couple had been visiting the Tropical Health Foundation for India – one of Motivation's partners which identifies, assesses and supplies appropriate wheelchairs for disabled people – when they were asked to officially open the new centre.

John said: “The day spent with Motivation and Tropical Health Foundation in Kerala was the most special on a memorable visit to India.

“The enthusiasm and dedication of the staff at the centre and the delight shown by the families benefitting from Motivation's work was truly inspiring.

“To witness first-hand the benefits the charity provides for people was an unforgettable honour.

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“We would like to thank all the people that made the visit possible.”

Motivation is a disability charity which provides wheelchairs, services and training to disabled people in developing countries.

The charity was based in Brockley for 20 years before moving to a new headquarters Bristol in 2017.

The centre in Kerala has been developed in partnership with Motivation and John and Jane were delighted to be able to join the charity in supplying wheelchairs which had been expertly measured and fitted to disabled children.

The wheelchairs will transform the lives of disabled children giving them access to education and employment and a better quality of life.

David Constantine, founder director of Motivation, said: “Volunteers like John have always been invaluable to our charitable work.

“All the staff at Motivation are incredibly grateful to John for his contributions to our team in the UK over the years.

“We're really pleased that he was able to meet some of the people who benefit from our work with partners and to see how his efforts feed into our aim to enable greater independence and opportunity for disabled people in developing countries.”

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