Joint effort aids family in Jigalong

Alexander ScottNorth West Telegraph
Patches volunteer Tony Clark, Synarah Murphy and Jaylan Smith from FMG, Minister Peter Dawson, Occupational Therapist Jen Leahy, Wheelchair for Kids volunteer Jenny Prince and Clinical Services Manager Chris Briody at Patches presenting a wheelchair.
Camera IconPatches volunteer Tony Clark, Synarah Murphy and Jaylan Smith from FMG, Minister Peter Dawson, Occupational Therapist Jen Leahy, Wheelchair for Kids volunteer Jenny Prince and Clinical Services Manager Chris Briody at Patches presenting a wheelchair. Credit: Alexander Scott

Perth organisation Wheelchairs for Kids and Port Hedland-based PATCHES Paediatrics have united to provide wheelchairs to families in need that have children with disabilities.

A wheelchair presented to PATCHES Therapy Services recently was funded by the Fortescue Metals Group and will be donated to a family from the Jigalong community, about 150km east of Newman.

Wheelchairs for Kids has built and donated more than 40,500 wheelchairs to disadvantaged children around the world.

The wheelchairs are built at the group’s warehouse in Wangara.

Wheelchairs for Kids volunteer Jenny Price said the chairs offered more support than standard wheelchairs, especially for children with cerebral palsy.

“I think it will be amazing for the children to have this resource, it’s more dignified for the child being in the wheelchairs — if we can give them these wheelchairs, they last for years and offer more support,” she said.

Patches volunteer Tony Clark, Synarah Murphy and Jaylan Smith from FMG, Minister Peter Dawson, Occupational Therapist Jen Leahy, Wheelchair for Kids volunteer Jenny Prince and Clinical Services Manager Chris Briody at Patches presenting a wheelchair.
Camera IconPatches volunteer Tony Clark, Synarah Murphy and Jaylan Smith from FMG, Minister Peter Dawson, Occupational Therapist Jen Leahy, Wheelchair for Kids volunteer Jenny Prince and Clinical Services Manager Chris Briody at Patches presenting a wheelchair. Credit: Alexander Scott

Minister for Disability Services Stephen Dawson attended the presentation and said the durability of the chairs would be beneficial to families in the Pilbara.

“The Pilbara is a very remote area, and certainly some of the wheelchairs that have been manufactured before aren’t fit for purpose for our landscape,” he said.

“We’ve got families that traverse the Pilbara, and they need equipment to help them get around the place.”

Mr Dawson said the roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme would mean communities in the North West will finally get access to support services they should have had a long time ago.

“There is often a waiting list for people to get fitted for wheelchairs and wait for people to access the wheelchairs,” he said.

“So by having Wheelchair for Kids wheelchairs around and available will make a world of difference immediately to some kids and families.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails