Below are e-mails between Phil Johnston and Jim O'Brien, CEO, NSW Wheelchair Sports Association which confirm that NSW Wheelchair Sports Association offers 'in principle' support for the campaign to assist blind and disabled Australians purchase a tandem or hand cycle, however, as Jim points out in the immediate below e-mail his charity's administrative resources are quite limited
 
From: Jim O'Brien [mailto:job@nswwsa.org.au]
Sent: Friday, 4 August 2006 2:53 PM
To: Johnston, Phil
Cc: Patrick Cameron; daver@nswwsa.org.au
Subject: RE: I seek you to read 'Adopt a Blind Cyclist' and consider whether it can be expanded to include other disabled people who want to ride hand bikes

Phil
 
I've read all your material and I must congratulate you on your initiative.  And yes it is all about inclusion and improving the quality of lives for those with a disability.  As a consequence it also improves the quality of the lives of  people who give. 
 
I can't see any issue with us getting involved and lending our name to your initiative.  Obviously the end result would be providing additional sporting and recreational opportunities for our members.  Would it not?
 
The only possible problem as I see it, is the cost of providing Handcycles to those with a spinal cord injury.  As you are aware Handcycles are an exorbitant cost and so much more expensive than bikes.  Also with my staffing situation I am not in a position to provide staff to canvass Corporates for sponsorship.
 
Happy to lend our name to any joint correspondence and to provide tax deductible receipting.
 
I'm not exactly certain but is this all you require from us?
 
Regards,
 
Jim O'Brien
CEO, NSW Wheelchair Sports Association
 
Ph:  (02) 9809 5260
Fax: (02) 9809 5638
 
job@nswwsa.org.au
www.nswwsa.org.au

From: Johnston, Phil [mailto:phil.johnston@cba.com.au]
Sent: Friday, 4 August 2006 2:01 PM
To: Jim O'Brien
Subject: FW: I seek you to read 'Adopt a Blind Cyclist' and consider whether it can be expanded to include other disabled people who want to ride hand bikes

Jim
 
Re my below e-mail to you, and out phone chat last Monday week.
 
I have established that Bicycle NSW enjoys deductible gift recipient status because it falls within The Bicycle NSW Environmental Trust ABN 31 583 611 736 which is listed on the Register of Environmental Organisations as established under item 6.1.1 of subsection 3055(1) of the Income Tax Assessment Act, 1997.  Hence, all donations over $2 are tax deductible.
 
I am prepared to officially ask BNSW to join with interested charities associated with helping the blind and disabled to obtain such machinery as tandems and hand cycles, where recreational cycle groups adopt the blind/disabled person into their ride group.
 
As mentioned, I have evidenced a significant transforation in the mindset of CEOs who these days welcome being seen as assisting disabled people, particularly from within their company, provided there is a clear audit trail that donations from their employees go to the disabled person(s).
 
I know blind people who are crying out for financial and physical support/assistance in order to improve their quality of life thru sport such as cycling.  I have cycled with several of them.
 
I imagine that you know paras and quads who would similarly welcome financial assistance from a company who opted to adopt them and physical support/assistance from a local recreational ride group or perhaps even a swimming club which picked them up and dropped them home.
 
If you would like to talk further with me re Adopt a Blind Cyclist  including people with spinal disabilities, I welcome your 'phone call.
 
There isn't any monetary cost to your charity, or any charity, apart from postage to say an initial mail out to 30 or so major companies which I will happily pay to get the appeal started.  However, the opportunity to get your charity's name, and the name of a charity for the blind (say Blind Citizens Australia), as well as Bicycle NSW, in front of the CEOs of major companies (and their staff welfare clubs) could provide opportunities for financial assistance for some of your patients. 
 
What I am proposing isn't Rocket Scientist stuff.  It is about two charities, and a cycling organisation with a capacity to issue receipts jointly writing on the same letter head to the CEOs of large companies asking if their company has a blind or disabled employee which their employees would like to contribute the cost of a tandem or hand cycle.
 
Some CEOs might respond that their company doesn't have a blind or disabled employee, however, the CEO would be happy to encourage his employees to adopt a disabled person from outside his company, provide -
(a)    an audit trail established that all donations went directly towards the cost of the equipment, and
(b)    tax receipts were issued.
 
Either way, disabled people may receive an opportunity to enhance their quality of life where donors -
(i)     evidenced transparency for their donations; and
(ii)    received updates on the progress of the person they adopted.
 
Cheers
 
Phil Johnston

From: Johnston, Phil
Sent: Monday, 24 July 2006 6:54 PM
To: 'Jim O'Brien'
Subject: FW: I seek you to read 'Adopt a Blind Cyclist' and consider whether it can be expanded to include other disabled people who want to ride hand bikes
 
I refer to my 'phone call to you early this afternoon.
 
 
I was told that Bicycle NSW was a registered charity.  I will check further with BNSW about that.  However, the above URL from BNSW's website pronounces that all donations to BNSW >$2 are tax deductible, meaning BNSW issues a receipt.
 
I welcome you reading my below 2 e-mails to you.
 
I have ridden with 4 blind cyclists on tandems, with over a dozen of those rides exceeding 100km.
 
I think there is scope for -
(i)     large companies to donate to cover the cost of hand bicycles and tandem bicycles where they evidence all their donation monies going to the disabled person they nominate.
(ii)    recreational cycle groups to assist blind and spinal disabled people ride in recreational ride groups.
 
If after reading my below two e-mails, and the URLs therein, you would like the scope of this project to include spinal disabled people which are keen to get a hand cycle, I welcome hearing from you.
 
Phil Johnston
From: Johnston, Phil
Sent: Tuesday, 11 July 2006 11:40 AM
To: 'Jim O'Brien'
Cc: 'Kelvin Smith - Moorong Spinal Unit'; Sean Murphy
Subject: RE: I seek you to read 'Adopt a Blind Cyclist' and consider whether it can be expanded to include other disabled people who want to ride hand bikes

Jim

 
I should have held off sending you my below e-mail a day or so, because yesterday I rec'd the above letter from Dept of Health & Ageing which -
 
(i)      commends my enthusiasm to assist blind people tandem cycle; 
(ii)     refers me to the Australian Bicycle Council; 
(iii)     informs the Dept of Health & Ageing has sponsored a Ride to Work Day in 2007; and 
(iv)     wishes me success with Adopt a Blind Cyclist.
 
There is nothing particularly insightful in the above attached response, but at least it is supportive.
 
I believe that with the right planning and implementation some able bodied Australians will be prepared to -
 
(a)    assist disabled and blind people towards the cost of tandem and hand cycles when they know every cent is going directly twds the cost of such equipment; and
 
(b)    assist disabled and blind people ride in recreational cycle groups, because cycling offers opportunities which most other sports do not.
 
As a result, interested blind and disabled people will likely materially enhance their quality of life, as I have evidenced with the blind people who have ridden on tandems with me. 
 
Two blind males that I know, Toby Sullivan and Andrew Devenish-Meares would welcome some assistance -
 
(I.)     towards the cost of a tandem (from donations which are tax deductible), and  
(II.)    support on rides from local cycling groups.
 
I expect that people adjusting to paraplegia or quadriplegia would be even more in need of such support.
 
When I was developing a website for mountain climbers, www.KOMpm.com  I  obtained the above attached declaration from Peter Allen in WA who considers that his hand cycle has allowed him to extend his social opportunities.  I am mindful that John McLean's feats are exceptional.  However, with encouragement and support, others may be able to follow.
 
I am prepared to give it a try.  If there are a few charities associated with blind and disabled who are similarly prepared to give it a go on the basis outlined in
Adopt a Blind Cyclist and my below e-mail, I welcome chatting with you.
 
Cheers
 
Phil Johnston

From: Johnston, Phil
Sent: Monday, 10 July 2006 11:25 AM
To: 'Jim O'Brien'
Cc: 'Kelvin Smith - Moorong Spinal Unit'; Sean Murphy
Subject: I seek you to read 'Adopt a Blind Cyclist' and consider whether it can be expanded to include other disabled people who want to ride hand bikes
 
Jim
c.c. Kelvin
 
I chatted with you at Moorong a year ago re seeking to assist disabled people ride hand bikes in recreational ride groups - below is my post meeting e-mail to Kel and yourself.
 
(My dad was a patient at Moorong 10 years earlier when a roof collapsed, so I am familiar with spinal injuries.)
 
If you click on Adopt a Blind Cyclist you will read that I have been busy in the last 12 months cycling with several blind people on tandems.
 
I have ridden over 100km tandem rides on recreational group rides with 4 different blind cyclists on approx 20 Sundays.  The longest being 126km from Hornsby to Wyong via Spencer.  Our Sunday group size varies from 5 to 15 cyclists. 
 
The purpose of this e-mail is ask if NSW Wheelchair Sports Association would like to work with two other charities to jointly approach the CEOs of 150 Top Australian Companies to enquiry if their company has a blind or disabled person on their staff who would like financial assistance to purchase a tandem or hand bicycle.
 
The other two charities would be:
*    one directly associated with cycling which already has charity status, and
*    a leading charity for the blind.
 
The business model which is explained in Adopt a Blind Cyclist is self-auditing and entails the fellow employees of the company donating twds the cost of the tandem or hand cycle for their disabled work colleague, where they each receive a tax deductible receipt and every cent goes twds between 50% and 80% of the cost of the bicycle.
 
I believe the model can be expanded where after the staff assist a fellow work colleague, then the company itself may donate twds a disabled person who doesn't work for the company.
 
I work for age company and CEOs are very keen to support charities where -
(i)     their employees directly assist someone they know of, and
(ii)    all the donated monies goes directly twds the disabled person. 
 
I can readily provide you the phone numbers of the blind people who have ridden if you would like to chat with them.   I have c.c. Sean Murphy who is blind and rode on the back of a tandem with me yesterday on a 93km ride.
 
Phil Johnston

 

 

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