Once again our Club was delighted to help a member of the local community - this time by donating towards a bespoke, self-propelled wheelchair.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic our Club was approached by Melanie Cowley, whose sister was struggling with a large, difficult-to-manoeuvre wheelchair.
We learned that Stephanie is wheelchair bound, having contracted encephalitis in 2001; she now also has Functional Neurological Disorder and epilepsy. Her old wheelchair was 20 years old and was heavy, big and too uncomfortable to use easily. Moreover, the back support did not support Stephanie's spinal cord injury.
Our Club, via our Community Service Committee, was delighted to help with a donation of £250 towards the cost of a new wheelchair (when other funding was in place). Donations With a Difference had also kindly donated and a sum of £1175.00 had been pledged by family and friends using Just Giving.
The wheelchair was purchased from the Complete Care Shop; it is bespoke and tailored specifically to Stephanie's body frame and disability needs.
Melanie has since been keeping us posted on Stephanie's wheelchair, and has informed us that the new chair is now with her. The new wheelchair is 2” smaller and does not have a rigid frame like the old one; it folds to fit in the car easily. The new wheelchair also has a pressure sore cushion to help Stephanie as she has to sit in her wheelchair all the time. We understand Stephanie "is loving it already". It has helped her be more independent in getting around her home and garden. Also, she's gradually going out more with family and friends when the current situation allows her to.
Here we reproduce a short write up from Stephanie:
"Today was the arrival of my red and black neon quickie wheelchair from Complete Care Shop. It has seemed a long time to get to this day and wouldn't of [sic] been possible without all the kind donations, especially yours. The chair is smaller and lighter [than the previous wheelchair]. The seat cushion is so comfy. I have already experienced increased independence as I can now move freely around my home and can easily manoeuvre up and down the ramp at the front of the house. The back support is ideal for my weak spine. I just want to say a huge thank you for donating towards my new wheelchair, it is going to be life changing." [Stephanie Kemp]
Melanie, also had the following to add: "I also want to express my gratitude again. I will see this having a benefit wider than just Stephanie as it will make life easier for my parents too, who care for Stephanie".
Chair of our Community Service, PP David Barton said "It's good to see Stephanie looking so happy on the new wheelchair" and was pleased that our donation towards the wheelchair will make such a positive difference to Stephanie's life and to that of her family too.