What We have Achieved Recently
The Entrance Rotary Club Supporting youth on The Central Coast
It began with a phone call from Noreen Whitaker who had found our contact details on the Clubs Web site.
She had a friend on the Coast with a 7-year-old severely brain damaged as a result of Bacterial Meningitis striking the child when he was just 18 months old.
One of the main joys for the lad was being on a swing. A three-seater swing had been donated to the family some months ago but with his Dad working interstate for long periods the swing was still in pieces.
Could our Rotary Club help? 10 am next day three volunteers arrived at the boy’s home, tools in hand. By lunchtime, the young boy was on the swing giving our camera a big smile.
Because of the young boy’s condition, he cannot be left alone, or he will damage anything or anyone around obviously including himself. The relief on his Mum’s face was amazing to see.
One of the Rotary volunteers David Waterhouse is also on the board of Camp Breakaway and did indicate that their services could be of assistance to this family who are doing their very best to deal with these very difficult circumstances.
Families like this need friends like Noreen, Rotary, Camp Breakaway and their next-door neighbour who was also clearly providing much valued help.
Rotary & Samaritans working together for a great result
When Tim Every-Burns’ Father-in-Law passed away, he had to decide what to do with the mobile scooter that was left. Rather than sell it, he chose to give it away to someone who needed a scooter, but who didn’t have the means to buy one.
To assist he called Gordon Crawford the President of The Entrance Rotary Club for help. Several approaches were taken including getting the assistance of Renée Dunn, a Care Worker, with The Samaritans.
Three weeks later Renée found Richard Foster, an 81-year-old pensioner, who had fallen, broken six ribs and was unable to drive with his injuries. It was decided that a worthy person had been found for the scooter.
Richard was delighted with this new acquisition and hopefully he will recover from his injuries quickly. When he does Rotary have already found another elderly person who will then have the scooter passed on to them.
Tim was delighted to find his Father-in-Law’s scooter doing so much to relieve some of the mobility problems experienced by older members of our community.
Are there any more mobile scooters out there looking for a new home? Contact us…
Rotary meets Archie, Kyle’s Smart Pup
Tuesday, 4 October 2016, the Rotary Clubs of The Entrance and Wyong met Archie, an Autism Assistance Dog, for the first time since the project was instigated in 2013. Kyle’s mother, Jodi, presented Archie and with Kyle, demonstrated the various commands and handling skills required. Jodi spoke of the difference it has made to their lives, how much safer Kyle is with Archie and how well they are bonding. Archie wears a special harness for his duties, and Kyle walks with his own harness attached to Archie.
Jodi thanked all involved with the project and for raising the funds to make this possible for the family. As a token of thanks, she made a cake topped with a replica of Archie. The full story appears below.
In 2013, The Rotary Club of The Entrance initiated a project to raise at least $18 000 to have a Smart Pup trained to assist Kyle, a little boy with Autism. The money was enthusiastically raised through fundraising events and donations from the community. This is a specialised, long term project where the right dog has to be found and trained for an extensive period. Now there is great excitement as the dog, named ‘Archie’ is soon to be delivered. Young Kyle recently received this letter from Smart Pups Assistance Dogs for Special Needs Children Inc.
My name is Archie and I am a 14 month old black Labrador and the Smart Pup team have chosen me to be your new friend.
We are delighted to introduce Archie, the Smart Pups team have chosen and trained to be an Autism Assistance Dog for Kyle.
Archie is a really lovely, people loving, sensitive fellow which we believe will be a great match for Kyle and your family.
We are looking to place him with you in around 6-8 weeks if all goes to plan. He has completed his training modules and we are confident you will love Archie.
Ella is Archie’s trainer and will be placing him with your family. Ella will be in touch with you soon with more details.”
CEO of Smart Pups Assistance Dogs, Patricia McAlister, says:
“At handover week the Smart Pups trainers will come to your home town and work with you (alternative handler and a second alternative handler if required) from around 10 am -12 pm and again from 1 – 3 pm. We allow four working days to teach you all you need to know to be able to manage and use Archie for the purpose he has been trained, an Autism Assistance Dog, and for you to be accredited with public access with Archie. The first three days we need to work just with the handler/handlers (and not Kyle) so we can teach you the commands and handling of Archie in public.
We then work with Kyle and Archie with the special tasks he has been taught. We can include any special appointments or places you wish to go during that week. We will bring everything that is required, including food for the first week, training lead/collar/jacket/crate and preventative medicine for flea/tick and worms for three months. If you choose, you can pick up a bowl and some Labrador proof toys and a bed or blanket for his crate.
Archie is trained for lap/disrupt/tethering and tracking. He also can do some cool tricks. He can learn to do this with your other child also. We then follow up around six weeks later for any additional help you may need.”
A Handover Guide is also provided as a start to learning about managing the Service Dog, as well as the commands needed.
James Sleeman awarded Paul Harris Fellowship
Tuesday 9 May was a great evening with several partners as well as past members present, together with District Governor, Bruce Lakin. They all came to celebrate a Paul Harris Recognition Award made to guest speaker and past Rotarian, James Sleeman.
Prior to the presentation James spoke passionately of his work about children with learning difficulties and the correlation it may well have to sight problems. He raisedawareness of this area of research and the work he is undertaking to provide remedies to the children. Following his talk and question time, DG Bruce made the Paul Harris Award to James, a most worthy recipient, assisting Secretary Con Bartsos for more than 15 years with distribution and collection of money and tickets for the club’s annual Community Raffle.