Wheelchair accessible vehicle comes in Spades at Grampians Community Health

It isn’t often adults choose to sit in the back seat of a car, it’s like sitting in the middle seat on a plane – the vision isn’t good, there isn’t as much legroom, it’s just not as comfortable. For some people with limited mobility their travel options were limited, sit up the back in wheelchair accessible buses or rely on someone to physically lift and transfer them into and out of a car. Grampians Community Health now has a Toyota Spade available to the community thanks to Jamie Erwin and the Grampians Toy Club and a number of generous community and business donors.

The Toyota Spade is a stylish, fully imported factory purpose-built vehicle, designed for people with mobility and wheelchair needs.

The Spade features an electric sliding left-hand door, high roofline and low flat floor; it also has a front passenger seat that is a ‘Toyota’ wheelchair. This means that someone needing a wheelchair can enter and alight the vehicle from the passenger side with ease, whilst staying comfortably seated in the wheelchair.

Grampians Community Health CEO Mr Greg Little said that when he was contacted by Jamie Erwin from the Grampians Toy Club with the offer of the car he had no hesitation in agreeing to the vehicle.

“Grampians Community Health provides vehicles for use in our older persons groups and NDIS programs as well as the community car for non-emergency patient transport so to have a vehicle specifically manufactured to transport people in a wheelchair in the fleet will provide an even better service for people in our community and their carers” said Greg.

Jamie Erwin of the Grampians Toy Club came up with the concept of purchasing a Toyota Spade after seeing a need in our community to allow people needing wheelchairs or with limited mobility to travel with dignity in cars, club members fully agreed to support the purchase.

“Often people end up in a wheelchair through illness, accident or frailty and due to this situation, they lose some of the things we take for granted, such as how we get around in cars. The Spade allows them to sit up front, next to the driver for good social interaction, good visibility, dignity and a feeling of belonging rather than feeling relegated to the back of a van.” said Jamie

Donations towards the purchase of the vehicle were provided by Grampians Toy Club, Grampians Community Health, Grampians Excavation and Soil Yard, Rick Steel, West Cranes and Access Hire, CKS Engineering, Monaghans Real Estate, Corinella Farms, Stawell Toyota, Moore Bulk Haulage, Anglican Parish Church Stawell, Northern Grampians Shire Council, Stawell Auto Wreckers and Heather & Robert Oliver in Memory of their son Peter Oliver.

Greg Little said that the vehicle couldn’t have been purchased without the donations and Grampians Community Health was grateful for their foresight in contributing to this car.

“As a charity, donations to Grampians Community Health are fully tax deductible, however I am sure in this instance that was the last thing on the donor’s minds as they genuinely wanted to provide something in our community that could change someone’s life,” said Greg.

The Toyota Spade will be available for community use through the Grampians Community Health ‘Community Car’ program. To access any of Grampians Community Health services phone 03 53587400.

Grampians Community Health is a not for profit charity with DGR status for tax-deductible donations towards its programs.

Grampians Toy Club is a community organisation that is primarily a Classic and Collectible Vehicle Club with a mission of holding various fundraising activities that contributes money back into the community of Stawell.

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