The Wheelchair Clinic – Creating work and enabling dignity to be restored. Wheelchair repair clinic by patients in, Lentegeur, Mitchells Plain, Cape Town, South Africa.
“All labour that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Serving to re-connect even the most disabled individuals with a sense of their value as productive and useful members of society and enabling them to experience the benefits of earning a living.” Dr John Parker
The hospital cares for a significant number of individuals (both in-patients and out-patients) who are wheelchair bound. Some patients have become mentally ill due to head injuries while others have cerebral palsy and manifest intellectual disabilities as a result. These individuals and a number of longer-term residents with psychiatric or intellectual disabilities are not equipped to survive in broader society and it is almost impossible for them to work productively.
Eventhough these patients are looked after in the hospital environment they have little to do on a daily basis and even less that gives them meaning in their lives.
The wheelchairs are difficult and costly to replace should they malfunction and we have seen that if a wheelchair is not properly maintained these critical pieces of equipment soon break down beyond repair.
In this we have found an opportunity to solve and innovate a solution in the creation of the Wheelchair Clinic.
Here the longer term residents are taught to clean and service the wheelchairs and the more able patients are led to take on administrative, supervisory and management roles of the clinic.
All participants receive a learning stipend for their involvement in the project. They are additionally taught financial management skills and are assisted in making purchases during organised visits to the local shopping mall.
This project is thus applying critical principles of Psychosocial rehabilitation.
How you can contribute to this project:
Your contribution enables the programme to continue, expand and help give more patients the chance of contributing to work that makes a difference. .
The Lentegeur Spring Project from which the Spring Foundation has grown was selected as part of the Cape Town World Design Capital 2014 program and the foundation’s greening project was adopted as a flagship by The Provincial Department of the Western Cape and the Premiers 110% Green Campaign.
The Spring Foundation at Lentegeur Hospital is a registered NPO and PBO that is using a range of psychosocial rehabilitation and outreach projects to re-establish a sense of hope and recovery through re-connection to the natural world and to community, identity and heritage.