24-HOURS IN THE LIFE OF LOCHLAN
LOCHLAN Thomas is ready for Lockyer Valley representatives and community members to experience just a fraction of his everyday life.
This Friday, the 18-year-old, who has been in a wheelchair since birth, will lead participants of the 24-hour wheelchair challenge across the region in a bid to improve accessibility.
Mr Thomas hoped the challenge would also highlight the challenges he faced every day.
“They will experience what it’s like living day-today life in a wheelchair and showing them basically the ins and outs of what I have to go through to live a daily lifestyle,” Mr Thomas said.
Accessibility has been an issue his whole life but since moving to the Lockyer Valley six months ago it has been even more difficult.
Mr Thomas said manoeuvring around Gatton was quite the challenge as some of the footpaths were not compatible with wheelchair use.
“Getting into some of the local businesses in town is just a nightmare because half of them aren’t wheelchair accessible,” he said.
Even short trips to the corner shop on his electric mobility chair are a hassle for the young adult as cars often block the footpath.
“I have to go down on the road and come onto oncoming traffic,” he said.
Member for Lockyer Jim Mcdonald, along with Lockyer Valley councillors Chris Wilson and Michael Hagan, are just some of participants who will spend 24 hours restricted to a wheelchair.
Starting in Gatton, participants will travel to various locations across the region to experience life in a wheelchair.
Mr Thomas said their experience would be an “eye-opener”.
Lockyer Valley Rotary club president Regina Samykanu hoped the challenge raised enough money to make Rotary Park wheelchair accessible.
“If someone wants to go and have a barbecue they should be able to without calling two or three people to have them,” she said.
The challenge will finish at Rotary Park at 11am on Saturday, where everyone is welcome to join participants for a barbecue.
THROUGH HIS EYES: Lochlan Thomas hopes participants of the wheelchair challenge will realise his day-to-day struggles.