Eleven retrofitted vehicles for people with special needs will be unveiled at the Wheel, Walk or Jog (WWJ) 2015, organised by the Handicaps Welfare Association. The WWJ is an annual event to promote awareness and socialization among persons with disabilities and the general public.
The Special Vehicles Fleet will be presented for the first time at WWJ.
These vehicles, comprising 10 Toyota Hiace and a Toyota Coaster, have been specially retrofitted as transportation for people with mobility-related disabilities for the purposes of work, school, vocational training, hospital and rehabilitation visits, and recreational activities. This special fleet is part of Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF)’s initiative to provide dedicated transport service to persons with disabilities.
The purchase and retrofitting of this fleet was funded by MSF and the Care & Share Movement, led by Community Chest and donations from partners.
Mr Edmund Wan, President of Handicaps Welfare Association, said: “The donation of these specially adapted vehicles is very timely to meet the increasing needs of people with disabilities, especially those who are using motorized wheelchairs and scooters, as public transport including some taxis are not equipped to support their needs.”
He added: “This special fleet is one of the first outcomes from the Care & Share Movement, a national fund-raising and volunteerism movement led by Community Chest for the social service sector, in celebration of SG50. The donations from our partners for HWA’s special vehicles fleet were matched dollar-for-dollar by the government under the Movement.”
These special vehicles will add to HWA’s current transport fleet of 23 vehicles and expand its special-needs transport service, which HWA has been running since 1980, to meet the increasing demand from passengers with disabilities. HWA has been providing on average 40,000 trips per year to more than 1000 clients.
The donated fleet is fitted with hydraulic lift and wheelchair securement system. The former raises wheel-chaired passengers aboard the bus and disembarks them upon reaching their destination, while the latter puts the brake on the wheelchairs when vehicles are on the move to ensure a secure and comfortable ride for passengers.
The modified Toyota Hiace has a seating capacity for four wheelchair passengers and four sitting passengers, while the Toyota Coaster takes in seven wheelchair passengers and seven sitting passengers.
In addition, all eleven buses have high roofs to accommodate wheelchairs with high backs.
Such modifications have made a difference to the lives of persons with disabilities in enabling hassle free and comfortable travelling. firstname.lastname@example.org
They battled through storms, heat and rough waves.
They had barely enough sleep and were physically and mentally exhausted.
But for the 32 rowers who took part in Mission Row Around Singapore Island 2015, it was all worth it.
The 24-hour charity rowing expedition has so far raised $500,000 of its $750,000 target for the Mission to Seafarers charity, which helps sailors who face loneliness and personal problems in their months away at sea.
The 140km journey around the island – the first such charity event – began at 11am on Wednesday.
Two Cornish pilot gigs, each with six rowers and a coxswain, were used, with rowers assigned shifts of two hours. When they were not rowing, they rested in a flotilla accompanying the boats.
Rough waves and strong winds were among their early problems.
“We had very, very choppy waters and wind against us that were very challenging,” said 42-year-old maritime lawyer Iain Anderson. “You’re rocking all the time and it’s hard to keep your oars in the water.”
However, the biggest obstacle came about nine hours into their journey.
“We had a big electrical storm,” said 57-year-old dietitian Alison Carpenter, the oldest rower in the team. “That was extremely frightening. Our boats filled up with about 50-60cm of water.”
For safety reasons, the rowers got out of their boats and sought shelter in the support vessels until the weather cleared. “I almost fell asleep at the oar,” said insurance broker Lewis Hart, 45. “But we rallied together and it was absolutely fantastic. It’s such a good cause.”
They completed their journey around 11.40am yesterday.
Fund-raising efforts will continue until May 9.
Following the success of this event, plans for a similar charity expedition in 2017 are under way.
The Mission to Seafarers provides practical and emotional support to sailors from all over the world.
The president of its Singapore arm, Mr Lee Wai Pong, 59, said: “(Our help is) extended to all seafarers, irrespective of their race or religion.”
Source: The Straits Times
The Singapore ASEAN Para Games Organising Committee (SAPGOC) says proceeds from the sale of Games merchandise will go to selected beneficiaries of the Community Chest which will match the amount dollar-for-dollar
This was revealed on Wednesday (Apr 22) at the launch of the partnership between the Community Chest and the 8th ASEAN Para Games, set to be held in December.
Organisers hope that such initiatives will help rally the community to support the Games and raise funds for organisations that help people with disabilities.
SAPGOC also hopes to raise S$5 million in sponsorship as it ramps up preparations for the first ASEAN Para Games in Singapore.
Discussions have already started with members of the business community with the intent of attracting both cash and value-in-kind sponsorships.
Said CEO of the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) Sim Gim Guan: “The Games is a strong platform for us to engage partners. And of course, one of the things that we are trying to do under the NCSS umbrella is really public education, to build a more inclusive society. When our people come together and witness the performance of our para-athletes, they will go away very impressed.”
“What we want to achieve is really the involvement of people from the private sector, the people sector to co-create the Games and whatever funding through sponsorships, donations, and fundraising activities go towards outreach, because we’d like to be able to bring people in,” added chairman of the SAPGOC Executive Committee Lim Teck Yin.
“There are many people that would want to come to the Games, but many of these VWOs would need support for transportation, support for being able to muster their people and bring them around the tour. We need support for all the outreach activities in the lead up to the Games and more importantly, post-Games, how do we use the funds that we raise to reach out to more people with disabilities so that they have access and opportunities to develop and grow through sports.”