Media/Retired engineer turns ‘Mr Fix-it’ – for the love of it

Retired engineer turns ‘Mr Fix-it’ – for the love of it

70-year-old volunteer applauded for helping Hunter residents with a disability keep rolling along

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Retired engineer turns ‘Mr Fix-it’ – for the love of it
 
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He’s known around the traps as ‘Mr Fix-it’ – a retired engineer from  Croudace Bay who is using his years of experience to help local kids and teens with a disability stay active and independent.

70-year-old Brian Taylor is the go-to man for Cerebral Palsy Alliance staff and clients when vital equipment – like wheelchairs – prove problematic. He’s quick with the tools and gets clients back ‘rolling along’ in no-time.

Brian has volunteered his services to Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s Croudace Bay team for the last seven years, with his dedication being celebrated in the lead up to National Volunteer Week (12-18 May).

In addition to fixing wheelchairs and other pieces of equipment, Brian is also the team’s handyman and carries out running repairs to the building and playground as needed.

‘Volunteering at Cerebral Palsy Alliance is really rewarding as I know my work makes a big difference to the lives of local children and teenagers with cerebral palsy’, Brian said.

‘Wheelchairs and other pieces of equipment like walkers and communication devices give them the independence to get around and stay connected with their communities. You can imagine the frustration when they break down. 

‘It is usually something minor that I can fix quickly at the Croudace Bay centre, and get them on their way again. It is a wonderful feeling to be doing something that means so much to others.’

Brian is one of 2,400 volunteers who contribute a total of 30,000 hours each year providing much needed support for Cerebral Palsy Alliance. Tasks range from supporting therapy services to maintenance, office, IT and technology roles – all of which save Cerebral Palsy Alliance an estimated $1.035 million each year (than if the roles were to be paid ones).

Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s Volunteer and Corporate Engagement Manager, Peter Horsley, says volunteers are often highly skilled people wanting to give something back to the community.

‘Volunteers are an integral part of our workforce and enable us to provide more services to more people than we could otherwise afford to’, Peter said.

‘Our volunteers are varied in background and skills – from professionals to retirees and students – united by a common drive to play an active role in helping people in need.

‘National Volunteer Week is a time for us to publicly thank each and every one of our volunteers, like Brian, and encourage others who have a few hours to spare to think about joining us. The rewards are immeasurable.’

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer with Cerebral Palsy Alliance can contact the Volunteer Team at volunteer@cerebralpalsy.org.au or (02)9975 8742.

Released on 1 May 2014