Six years ago Erma Lewis started the ‘Wheelchair recycling, we can do’ project which refurbishes old and disused wheelchairs for people on NHS waiting lists or for family events and one-offs. This project sprang out of an appeal she ran following storm damage on her one time home island of Jamaica.
As a former nurse, Erma had seen the problem of people being unable to leave hospital for want of a wheelchair. She began to think that if she was able to find and ship old wheelchairs to the Caribbean then perhaps she could also provide them locally. Now the idea is a registered charity and a team of volunteers repair wheelchairs at a workshop in Harborne.
This podcast was recorded just before the Local Hearts Awards in Birmingham in October 2009 – where she was shortlisted in the category of female active Citizen.