Each year we work with a group of students from IADT on a fundraising project which ties in with their business course, such as selling the NRH Cookbooks or the NRH Foundation Charity Calendars. IADT Enterprise Week was held at the end of February, and this year’s group decided to take on a wheelchair challenge to raise awareness of mobility and the difficulties someone using a wheelchair might experience on a daily basis.

As part of their 3rd year module (Applied Data Management) on Tuesday 27th of February 2018, Anthony, Chris and Allan took on the challenge to immerse themselves in the day in the life of a wheelchair user on the IADT Campus. Lecturers and students got involved using a wheelchair for a few hours to access their activities on campus and to see how they could navigate their day.

Direct feedback from the students, Chris Boylan, Anthony Kane & Allan Symes on this project said:

“As part of our 3rd year social enterprise project, we were given the responsibility to oversee a project from start to finish that would consequently have a positive social impact. Inspired by a documentary aired on TV3, where Felix Jones travelled from the Aviva Stadium to Thomond Park in a wheelchair using only public transport, we decided to combine the two, subsequently giving us the idea of having a ‘wheelchair day’, raising both awareness and money for the NRH Foundation.

On Tuesday 27th February, we had lecturers and students who volunteered to accept the challenge of having a disability and being confined to a wheelchair for the day. During this time, we highlighted the difficulties that a wheelchair user may face on a daily occurrence. The challenges ranged from something as small as eating lunch in a packed canteen, to being unable to use the ‘wheelchair accessible toilets’ without being assisted. It even included having to wait nearly 10 minutes for a passer-by to open a door for us.

 The experience left us with nothing but admiration for those who face these challenges on a daily basis. During our time working with the NRH, we had the humbling experience of seeing the great work that goes on behind the scenes, from the fundraising officers, to the Physiotherapists who provide exceptional rehabilitation support. The whole project would not have been possible without Ann O’Leary from the NRH, who was affable and supportive of our idea from day one. Sarahjane, Edel and our lecturer Siobhan also played a pivotal role in the success of our fundraising day.

 We look forward to continuing our work with the NRH in the future!”

We would like to congratulate Chris, Anthony and Allan, for not only raising awareness of the NRH and NRH Foundation but for also raising €398 through bucket collections on the day.