Fundraiser Helps Send Student to India

St. Thomas Church Hall in Pather, Wishaw played host to a dual purpose charity evening on 25th April. Organiser Yvonne Canning set up the event to help fund her niece’s trip to India this year, where the secondary school student will volunteer in a school for children and adults with disabilities, run by The Association of People with Disability (APD).

APD began in 1958 to work “on the comprehensive rehabilitation of economically marginalized people with disabilities.” APD uses community programmes to “support, rehabilitate and include people with disabilities in mainstream economy and social life.” The charity has been able to assist over 28,000 people. APD has won awards for exemplary work in the field of disability and best medium-sized non-governmental organization (NGO) in South India among other accolades.

Programming at APD includes physiotherapy, spinal cord injury and orthotic units to offer “therapeutic intervention,” aids and appliances to more than 6,000 disabled people, and training and livelihood support through their industrial training centre and Information Technology training courses. They have two horticulture units which teach over 70 disabled youth to garden and landscape through a demanding 10 month residential course, and deliver schooling to 273 disabled children from Kindergarten to Class VII at their integrated school and community learning centres. They also reach 1,570 children in other communities by ensuring inclusion in mainstream schools.


The motto for the APD education programme, “identify, instruct, include,” exemplifies their aid through “early assessment, preparation for learning, tailored instruction and mainstream integration.” At their Shradhanjali Integrated School in Bengaluru non-disabled students study beside those with cerebral palsy, hearing impairment and multiple severe disabilities. They also provide trained teachers, community organisers and therapists to help children, parents, caregivers, local authorities and community leaders.

Canning’s event was attended by 100 people and raised £800. Guests enjoyed a buffet catered by volunteers at the local parish and prizes such as a champagne afternoon tea for two at Hilton hotels, a candle gift set, hairdressing vouchers, beauty vouchers and family theme park passes.

Canning notes that “the generosity of local business was fantastic. We had wonderful prizes, and the tickets were useful because the stubs were used to draw the winners.” She used the local school newsletter to promote the evening and says all organisers should “plan ahead and leave lots of time for companies to reply when asking for prizes or donations.”

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