When Parkside School recently established a new Transition to Life Program for their young adult 18-21 year old students with significant disabling conditions to better integrate them into the community, they found themselves without a van to transport the students to their activities within the town.
Principal, Judith Nel was desperate to find a vehicle suitable for the task. Pukekohe Rotary Club came to the rescue. A project team was set up under President Elect Ross Beal in early 2015. Funds of $15000 were provided by the Pukekohe Rotary Inc. Charitable Trust, assisted with donations from the Harold Thomas Rotary Trust and the June Gray Charitable Trust. Rotarian Don Thompson used his connections within the car industry to source a suitable Hi Ace Van with 11 individual high-back seats Michaela Radonich and colleagues at from SignMax Pukekohe assisted with the designed and production of the van’s signage.
At the official presentation in March 2016, Pukekohe Rotary President, Derek Hosking, commented that Pukekohe Rotary where delighted to be able to assist in such a worthy cause. “The Parkside project has been an excellent example of Rotary using its resources to capture local funding and business support, while also attracting donations from the wider Rotary community” said Derek.
In accepting the keys to the van Principal Judith thanked Rotary and everyone involved. “The Rotary van has been operational since early February and is already helping my staff maximise the student lives post- Parkside. It is allowing us to integrate them into activities such as work experience, recreational facilities, local businesses and all those places important for everyday living”.