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Gift of mobility changing the lives of West Aussie families

Mineral Resources is proud to partner with Wheels for Hope, a WA charity that is changing the lives of Western Australian people with disability through the gift of mobility.

Kaleb's family, Wheels for Hope and Mineral Resources staff

For many families, the high cost of purchasing a wheelchair accessible vehicle means that it is simply unaffordable. As a result, these families are struggling to get their kids to medical appointments, school and other social activities because their cars are not suitable.

With a fleet of over 40 vehicles, Wheels for Hope provides families with a loan wheelchair accessible vehicle which is insured, licensed, serviced and maintained by the organisation. This is making a huge difference to the lives of many people in WA, like fourteen-year-old Kaleb and his family who recently took delivery of their life-changing van.

Kaleb was born with Schizencephaly – a rare congenital brain malformation – and bilateral optic nerve hypoplasia. As a result of these diagnoses, Kaleb has severely delayed cognition, low muscle tone, and experiences regular seizures. He uses a wheelchair for his mobility and requires full support for all aspects of his daily living.

An hydraulic hoist lifts Kaleb and his wheelchair into the back of the van

Wheels for Hope Foundation Manager, Jodie Sparks explained how getting to school and medical appointments had previously been a challenge for Kaleb and his family.

“To get Kaleb into a car, his family had to lift him into a standard child seat, and then dismantle his wheelchair and squeeze it into the boot. They had to reverse the whole process when they arrived at their destination – doing this several times in a day,” Jodie said.

“This was not only tiring for his family, but Kaleb was quickly outgrowing the car seat. There was also a lot of wear and tear on his expensive wheelchair from being dismantled so often.”

“With transport being a challenge, Kaleb was not easily able to participate in the activities he enjoys like swimming or horse riding. It was easier for him and his family to stay home rather than participating in community activities and visiting family and friends.”

With support from MinRes, the Wheels for Hope loan vehicle has been fitted with a hydraulic hoist to lift Kaleb and his wheelchair into the back of the van. It’s now much easier for Kaleb and his family to get out and about.

Kaleb inside the Wheels for Hope vehicle

MinRes General Manager of External Affairs, Mark Donovan recently had the privilege of meeting Kaleb and his family and said he was pleased to see the difference our support is making to the lives of WA families.

“It means so much to us at MinRes to know that our contribution through Telethon is directly benefiting Kaleb and his family so they can do things they love,” Mark said.

“With the Wheels for Hope vehicle, Kaleb can now comfortably visit friends and family, go to the beach where he loves to listen to the water and go on other excursions like visiting the shops.”

“At MinRes, one of our values is ‘family’ which means we care for each other and the community. We are proud to support programs like this that are making such a positive difference to the lives of WA families.”