05 February 2012

ParaQuad Transport Working Group Survey – Lower Hunter

ParaQuad NSW understand that for many people living with a Spinal Cord Injury or related disability the cost and availability of transport in the Lower Hunter Region is a major barrier to maintaining independence.  In an effort to raise and address issues concerning transport The ParaQuad Transport Working Group have created a survey which we would appreciate your feedback. This short survey can be accessed via clicking on the link below.


It is only with your input that we can act to improve access to both public and private transport options for people with a disability that live in or visit the Lower Hunter Region.  Lets work together to make it happen!

If you are interested in participating in the ParaQuad Transport Working Group for the Lower Hunter or have any queries regarding this survey please contact Community Development Officer, Melanie Lloyd: Ph: (02) 49696388, Email: melanie.lloyd at paraquad.org.au

Spinal Pressure Ulcer Model of Care Consumer Workshop - 29 February 2012

You are invited to the Spinal Pressure Ulcer Model of Care Consumer Workshop to discuss: 
Prevention & Management of pressure ulcers, the patient journey.
If you have had a previous issue with your skin or received management of a pressure ulcer we want to hear your story!
When:   Wednesday 29th February 2012
Where:  America’s Room, Paraquad NSW, 6 Holker St, Newington
Time: 1100 – 1500h     (includes light lunch)
RSVP: Friday 24th February 2012  Please contact Louise Kelly for further information and to confirm your attendance 8644 2175

07 January 2012

Linking Into the ParaQuad NSW Community

There are many ways to learn more about our community and what we do:

Website: www.paraquad.org.au or watch the video below about the people we help.

Link to us on:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ParaQuadNSW

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/paraquadnsw

During the annual Spinal Injuries Awareness Week, a national campaign was held across Australia with all like minded spinal cord injury organisations to create this website www.rebuildinglives.com.au 

Or view this video community service announcement 

The Community You Help Along the Way

This is the story of one of our members who is helping build a community through ParaQuad Voices, a volunteer program for people with a spinal cord injury. (Names have been changed)

Steve is a T7/8 Complete Paraplegic and has been in a wheelchair for the last 14 years as a result of a fall. 

When finishing school Steve wanted to study Physiotherapy, however living in the country meant he would have to move to Sydney and with such a high cost of living and studying in Sydney full-time,  he chose a different career path in Accountancy. Today he is thankful for that choice as he  would be unemployable as a Physio in a wheelchair.

After successfully completing his course, Steve applied to 8 Accountancy firms for a Cadetship. He got all 8 interviews, however after failing to land a job with the first 7 he told his Mum that he wasn’t going to Sydney for the 8th interview. He recalls how his mum encouraged him to attend it. He was lucky to land himself a job at a large accountancy firm.

This set him up. He enrolled in a 4 year degree at UTS and just missed out on a degree with Distinction!

He started his Profession Year with the Institute of Chartered Accountants and was just one subject away to complete his course and was 3 months away from becoming one of the youngest client managers at Deloitte at the tender age of 23.

Then his world came crushing down, the long nights at work, the endless hours of studying, coupled with his blossoming touch football career caused a mental breakdown and he ended up in a Psychiatric Ward at Manly”. 

Steve was admitted to Hospital with depression and somehow managed to fall out a window and broke his  back. He managed to stumble 50 metres before my lung collapsed and passed out.  He was found and put in a wheelchair instead of a stretcher which paralysed him for the rest of his life. 

Steve's life came crashing down on him. He did not deal with his new injury very well. To add to this he had constant bladder incontinence and after two failed bladder operations, he tried to take my life with a tablet overdose. 

When he survived and saw the disappointment on his parents face, he decided he would try and make a go of his new life. It would not be fair to leave his family to pick up the pieces.

Steve returned back to the country in 1998 after 8 months of rehabilitation. Steve found support from ParaQuad and a whole new life thereafter. 

Steve’s true inspiration that helped him get his life back on track is his family & friends.

Steve has now put up his hand to be part of ParaQuad’s Volunteer program, ParaQuad Voices – living and talking spinal cord injury. As part of the program he gets to do what he is very passionate about; motivational speaking. He says, “Yes, my mental illness resulted in my paraplegia, but I have proved that with professional care and medication I can live a perfectly normal life in the society. As part of the ParaQuad Voices, I’m able to help a cause I personally believe in, which is to educate and inform the community about SCI and Mental Illness and life thereafter. Not only that, I’m also able to use my experience to help others”.

He proudly states, “I have proved that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. You only get one body, so you have to look after it. 

Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery, and Today is a Gift so live everyday like it is the last. 

New Year's Resolutions

Each year, so many of us decide on a New Year's resolution. "I will lose weight", "I will spend more time with family", "I will find a new job" or "I will volunteer my time to help a charity".  Yet how many of us actually meet the resolution?  How do you find a charity to help and what can you do to help?  As the Community Relations Manager at ParaQuad NSW, here are some tips  to help you find a charity community to support:
- look at your skills set and what you have to offer?
- how much time do you have to give?
- when can you give the time?
- what attracts you to a charity?  Some charities that help children and animals get lots of help, but smaller charities also need help!
- how far do you want to travel?
- how much can you give, not only in time but physically and emotionally?

From working with many charities, the best help you can give a charity is to help by:
- administration assistance - from typing, to doing social media, to writing a story for a newsletter
- fundraising - this task is big in an age when there is so much competition and if you are shy and cant ask for money from a person, perhaps you can help by getting people to an event.
- social assistance with clients who may just need someone to talk to, assist them with small things like filling out a form or doing shopping for them.

What's your next step? Find a charity that interests you. Check out is annual report to see what the charity is doing and get an idea of how you can help - Then give them a call and see how volunteering and joining a not-for-profit community can make a difference.

30 December 2011

What is Community?

Community according to Wikipedia is a group of people interacting or living together in same proximity, whether it be space, time, area or relationship.

Community Relations looks at developing and maintaining various methods and activities to establish and maintain a beneficial relationship in the community in which you operate.  It can also be known as cause marketing, community engagement, public relations and community development.

In the terms of this blog, we hope to build several communities within the area of those that are involved with spinal cord injury.  Communities include:
- people with a spinal cord injury
- friends and family of those with a spinal cord injury
- supporters who give of their time, in kind or by donation
- businesses who want to support and be involved
- volunteers
- clinicians
- suppliers

We hope you will join us in this journey to build communities that provide sustainability, information, advocacy and support to people with a spinal cord injury and those who work and live with them.

28 December 2011

The ParaQuad NSW Community

Supporting life choices after spinal cord injury
ParaQuad NSW is a member based charity supporting people with a spinal cord injury and their families and friends. The not for profit organisation offers respite and permanent accommodation for people with a spinal cord injury, personal care services, primary health care (including occupational therapists, social worker and spinal cord nurse), advocacy, information, specialised training and workshops.
As a charity, we rely heavily on the family, friends and employers of people with a spinal cord to help us make a difference. This blog is designed to offer suggestions on how YOU can get involved and help us build support to our community.