Saskatchew­an Abil­i­ties Coun­cil un­veils new bus

The Southwest Booster - - NEWS -

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.

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