I was happy to report that our wheelchair project at the shed essentially is in good order. The production of wheelchairs is running along nicely, though there is a need for two additional workers. However, if we are to maximize the facility and its resources, we need an ongoing program to make improvements wherever and whenever possible.
The report from 180 Degrees Consulting is very professional and informative, helping us to identify points of action, most of which we were aware of but had not been fully addressed. It did strongly advise that we take advantage of Social Media to raise our profile and raise funds. Whilst we frequently post to our club’s Facebook page
, this is not happening with the Wheelchair Trust website; there are few or no social media posts. It is necessary to appoint an individual to this job, who would, in turn, need additional help as the job can be quite demanding.
It was agreed that Mark Twyford and Paul Seymour would talk to their companies’ Social Media specialists to see if they can help. It was suggested it may be a service, we will have to pay for, the matter is to be further developed at the next board meeting where a decision can be made if we do nothing it will be a lost opportunity.
The issue of additional shed utilization has so far been a disappointment. All avenues we had explored did not develop into a practical operation; the last attempt was an effort to copy some of the projects they run at Substation 33. I believe this still has potential but is lacking a leader with sufficient technical knowledge. In the meantime, we could consider additional projects utilizing existing facilities, including the manufacture of coffins! Perhaps dog kennels, general pet equipment, including pet coffins? That type of work, if successful, would be undertaken by a different group of people on different days, allowing us to increase the number of days the shed is in operation.
When the shed reopens (expected to be on 26th January) we intend to make a few pet products to test the market and will keep the club informed. The shed is open for everyone in the club. Any suggestions or help is very much appreciated. Please, whenever you can, join us for coffee on Saturday mornings.
To summarize: we are going to do something about Social Media and actively look at additional products. We encourage members to contact anyone they think could volunteer on Saturday mornings.
Picture: Larry Murray is Chairman of the Surfers Sunrise Wheelchair Trust, an Australian registered Charity organisation