Northcott Oak Flats and Wollongong has launched a new wheelchair accessible van to give young people with a disability the opportunity to access events and locations that were previously unavailable to them.
Northcott employee and Rotarian Stephen Knightley said the van’s purchase was made possible with the support of corporate and philanthropic partners.
“This vehicle provides local residents who are in wheelchairs increased ability to access opportunities that will enrich their lives,” he said..
Fundraising was a combined effort between Northcott Disability Services, Member for Wollongong Paul Scully, Rotary and local businesses such as Bendigo Bank.
Northcott was started by the Rotary Club of Sydney in 1929 as the NSW Society for Crippled Children. The original mission was in response to a polio epidemic. The society’s objective was to provide services to children with tuberculosis, polio and other diseases who had been excluded form mainstream society.
Rotary has been primary in all but eradicating Polio in the world after starting that quest in 1985. It was also instrumental in starting the PCYC in 1937.
NSW Society for Crippled Children changed its name to Northcott in the 1990’s.
The independent organisation now provides everyday life skills, vocational skills and short breaks and outings.
Mr Knightley said Rotary, Northcott and PCYC still work in partnership on projects such as Dream Cricket and fundraising for the accessible wheelchair van.
The official launch in Oak Flats was attended by Northcott customers and staff as well as representatives from Bendigo Bank, Rotary and Mr Scully.