The 'Bedroom tax': Tim Wood on Premier
Tim Wood, our CEO, has spoken on Premier radio about the high court's decision on housing benefit cuts - the 'bedroom tax'. The full piece from Premier Rasion is available below...
Elburgon - 15th July
Here's another story from our distribution in Elburgon, Kenya, sent to us by Suzanne Millwood.
I thought that having been to Kenya before and having worked with adults with physical disabilities, I would feel fairly equipped and prepared for my trip to Elburgon. This couldn’t have been further from the truth! Nothing could have prepared me for meeting Joel, an elderly man living with his sons and nephews. Joel was carried into the centre’s clinic room by one of his sons.
Although not politically correct, the best way to describe Joel was ‘frog-shaped’. His legs were very contracted and he had a limited range of movement in them. Having contracted polio at an early age he used to move around on his hands. However, as he has grown older his upper limb strength has deteriorated and he is now unable to do this and is now totally reliant on his family to carry him wherever he needs to go. This affects every aspect of daily life and has a major impact upon the family. I have never seen a disability quite like that of Joel’s in the UK.
It’s hard to comprehend what life must be like for him yet he is full of hope and joy because of Jesus. Management of disabilities such as Joel’s in Kenya is so different to that we would expect in the UK. It is eye opening to meet such an individual who has received no NHS type treatment yet he isn’t bitter. He is complete in Jesus.
It was an amazing privilege to find a wheelchair and adapt it to meet Joel’s needs. Though still reliant on the family to push him, it means he is no longer carried everywhere. The tilt in the space chair gives him a comfortable position finally. What a huge difference this chair will make in his life. To have played a small part in this is humbling for me.
Coming on this Wheels for the World trip has been eye-opening and will have a lasting impact.
From the 10th to 20th July 2013, a team from Wheels for the World will be distributing wheelchairs in Elburgon, Kenya. We've received a few stories and photos from them about the start of the trip, and will be adding more as they come in.
The happy team of volunteers as they arrive for Day 2 of the wheelchair distribution. From left to right: Gordon, Roy, Wendy, Carolyn, Deborah, Suzanne and Sue.
Wendy Devonshire wrote to tell us about Jane... 17 year-old Jane had been carried by her mother all her life until today. She had Cerebral Palsy and had a severely twisted spine – scoliosis – her hips were crooked. It appeared that her knees were too contracted to be able to extend and it seemed impossible that she could sit in a chair. With the help of an OT with the right experience in these matters we managed to move the limbs enough to put her in an adapted chair. She smiled and laughed most of the time and didn’t seem to experience any pain. I had noticed the chair previously and thought it suitable for a young adult as it was a supportive shape and relatively large. The coverings of the chair allowed the technician to insert specially cut foam shapes underneath the cover, which protected it and made it look very nice. Also a wedge was cut to go under the knees to improve the sitting position.
The result was a young teenager sitting up and seeing her surroundings in a more normal way for the first time as well as a happy and relieved mother.
Roy Hurd demonstrates his passion to help disabled children by giving meticulous care to the support needs of youngsters such as this boy. Roy had made up eight plywood trays at home and took them as his luggage to Kenya to benefit some of new wheelchair users, allowing them to have a work surface, and be able to take meals more easily.
Suzanne Millwood, a young OT from Basingstoke, gets to work on her first Wheels for the World trip, in the process of assessing the best seating arrangement for this man.
More news to follow as time and internet permit!