Christopher Reeve is renowned for his iconic role as Superman, as well as his refusal to allow his overwhelming obstacles to crush him when he was left a quadriplegic in 1995.
He was once noted in saying, “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure, in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”
Within Newcastle is an organisation which houses 24 such heroes. Individuals who face an array of challenges, yet constantly find the courage to smile and endure their lot in life.
Situated at 92 Bird Street, is the Association for the Physically Challenged, Nil Desperandum. An organisation which has become a home for the physically handicapped of Newcastle.
As a beacon of light to those with disabilities, Nil Desperandum offers its residents constant, love-filled care. “We run 24 hours a day, with the staff continuously on duty to care for the residents,” says branch manager, Eleanor van der Westhuizen.
The bulk of the residents are wheelchair-bound, while others face mental disabilities. Therefore, the staff are required to show constant vigilance and care.
Yet despite the efforts, the staff extend to those in their care, the Association is facing financial difficulties.
Eleanor explains that while the Department of Social Development does provide subsidies for the residential facility, on a per capita basis, as well as salaries for the social workers, the funds from the department do not cover all the home’s expenses.
“Funding received from the department covers approximately 50% of the annual expenditure.”
This sees the Association relying heavily on the support of generous Newcastillians. “The community has been very supportive towards us,” Eleanor says.
However, the time has come for Newcastillians to rally together and open their hearts to the Association of the Physically Challenged.
The facility is in dire need of new beds for its residents, as well as nappies, food and monetary donations. Sponsorships of medical supplies are also required.
This to ensure the residents are not lacking in any way. Allowing them to lead their lives in some form of comfort.
With the facility needing the community’s support, why is it important for us as a town to open our hearts to the residents of the facility?
“The residents did not choose to be born this way. This isn’t a life anyone would choose voluntarily. A lot of the residents also don’t have a family, and would truly enjoy it even if people came to visit and interact with them. They also have needs and love to interact with people. They are human, just like we are,” Eleanor says.
If anyone would like to contribute to the facility and assist its residents, Nil Desperandum can be contacted on 034 315 4003.
Let us show our Newcastillian spirit in support of one of our local homes!