Saskatchewan Abilities Council unveils new bus
Abeneficial new client transportation bus was unveiled by the Saskatchewan Abilities Council during a special ceremony last Friday.
The wheelchair accessible bus has been in service since last month thanks in part to a $36,500 donation from the TeleMiracle Foundation. The bus will be utilized to transport clients to and from work, and the upgraded vehicle will improve the comfort of clients when being taken on outings and to special events around Swift Current.
“Many of the people we’re dealing with have special needs and they do feel the heat, and it is uncomfortable, so this will allow them to more fully participate in things like the rodeo or Frontier Days and I think they’re really looking forward to it,” explained Tom Spence, President of the Saskatchewan Abilities Council Board of Directors.
“ That vehicle is just state of the art. It has three or four wheelchair tie down spots for kids or adults in wheelchairs, plus really comfortable seating for those who don’t require wheelchairs. It’s also air conditioned.”
Spence noted that the operation of the bus is receiving support from the Ministry of Social Services who cover the day-to-day transportation costs. However the donated support, which also featured a $1,000 contribution from Husky Energy, helped make the bus purchase a reality.
“Certainly we couldn’t have done it without the support from the Kinsmen Foundation, a wonderful donation of $36,000,” Spence said. “The Kinsmen and Kinettes in this province just do a wonderful job of raising funds to help people like the Abilities Council and our clientele in terms of providing things like these buses.”
Sandra Brong, Program Manager at the Saskatchewan Abilities Council Swift Current Branch, said the new bus will have a number of benefits.
“It’s going to make a huge difference for ease of accessing or getting onto the bus. Before we were using 15-passenger vans, and very difficult for some of the individuals to crawl in and get into their appropriate seats. There’s not a lot of room in those vans, so the bus has just made a huge difference.”
The main advantage of the new bus is that it will allow them to take entire groups from the Activity Centre on outings at one time.
“ We don’t have to book the bus for Special Needs Transportation separately, we can all go together in one trip, and that’s just going to make a world of difference for everybody. They get to stay amongst each other instead of splitting up and meeting there.”
Brong was also appreciative of the donations which made the purchase of the bus a reality.
“It’s hard to put it into words how much we really appreciate, and everybody appreciates the donation to be able to purchase this bus. It’s been long coming, we’ve really needed something for a long time. Now we have it, but we have it because of the support from Kinsmen Telemiracle.”
A special ribbon cutting ceremony was hosted this past week to unveil the new Saskatchewan Abilities Council’s client bus which was purchased in part thanks to a $36,552 donation from the TeleMiracle Foundation.