Woodside gets new wheels

From left, are Earl Adams of CT Convert, Dean Keyser of Mercedes Benz, general manager of Woodside Special Care Centre Melanie Brand, ward councillor Mark Kleinschmidt, Clive Obery from Woodsides funding department, and Frank Cairns of Mercedes Benz.

The Woodside Special Care Centre celebrated the arrival of their new bus last Tuesday November 12.

The non-profit centre in Rondebosch East cares for intellectually disabled adults and children as well as people with reduced mobility. It has been raising funds since the beginning of February to buy a new bus.

Woodside’s Clive Obery told the Tatler earlier this year that the centre’s 15-year-old bus was becoming too expensive to repair (“Boost for centre’s minibus fund,” Southern Suburbs Tatler, May 15).

Last week, he said that through the help of private donors, corporate organisations, the National Lottery and crowdfunding the centre had raised R1.3 million.

“We are truly blessed to have been able to raise the funds necessary to buy our new bus and would like to give a special thanks to all our donors who so generously assisted financially to make this dream possible,” he said.

The new bus is a Mercedes Sprinter and the inside was modified to include five wheelchair stations and a hydraulic wheelchair lift to facilitate the specific needs of the centre.

Woodside occupational therapist Lauren Fuller said the new vehicle could hold more wheelchairs than the old one.

“It is safer so we can go out more often and have more peace of mind,” she said.

Ward councillor Mark Kleinschmidt, who made a small donation for the bus along with members of the Rondebosch East Civic Association, said: “It has been wonderful for the donors to open their hearts to assist Woodside to provide special transportation for their residents.”