Portmore welcomes mobility centre

Release Date: 
Monday, May 15, 2017

THE Watson Grove community in Gregory Park, Portmore, has welcomed the Portmore Self-Help Disability Organisation (PSDO) Mobility Centre, a service centre that specialises in the repair and customisation of wheelchairs and other mobility aids for members of the physically disabled community.The centre was formally introduced to the community at an open day on April 20.

“I'm feeling really good. I'm happy for the day when the idea came about to establish the PSDO Mobility Centre,” said Mayor of Portmore Councillor Leon Thomas. “It will go well to serve the disabled and physically challenged community in Portmore.”

He also commended the partners — the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the JN Foundation through its Social Enterprise Boost Initiative (SEBI).

George Thorney of the Combined Disabilities Association said the facility was a worthwhile and needed centre.

“An initiative such as this advances wholesome development of persons with disabilities,” he said. “The services being offered are timely and should be supported by a wide cross section of Jamaicans.”

In addition, well-known Portmore medical practitioner Dr Dane Levy commended the PSDO Mobility Centre team.

“I have been practising in this community for the past 30 years and have seen the need for this kind of service,” he said while making a commitment to refer the centre to people who are in need of its services.
Opal Whyte, project manager, SEBI, said that the centre was one of 21 social enterprises for which SEBI provides capacity development support to help them become self-sustaining.

“We want PSDO Mobility Centre to become a strong and vibrant enterprise,” she said.

Meanwhile, Bridgette Johnson-Beckett, founder of the PSDO Mobility Centre, said that her team was nudged to establish the centre after working with physically disabled people in Portmore.

“We discovered that there was a lack of technical support for members in our community,” she said. “Realising that we possessed the technical skills needed to carry out these repairs, we seized the opportunity to establish a service centre to specialise in the repair and customisation of mobility aids.”

The centre offers an extensive range of services which include professional fittings, evaluations, home assessments, wheelchair and mobility aid maintenance and customisation, and rental of loaner chairs.

SEBI is a joint JN Foundation and USAID project. It seeks to mobilise employment, investment and revenue especially within underserved communities across Jamaica.

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A social enterprise is a business that generates income from the sale of goods and services and uses the profits to solve issues such as: unemployment, homelessness and environmental degradation.

 

A Social Entrepreneur is an individual who establishes a for-profit enterpise with the primary objective of using the profit generated to alleviate a social, cultural or environmental challenge.