I’d like to go on a Wheels for the World trip. What do I have to do?
More information about being a team member, along with an application form, can be found in our Wheels Team section.
Can I donate my old wheelchair to Wheels for the World?
We are always grateful for donations of folding manual wheelchairs, but are limited in what we can accept! Children’s chairs and chairs with extra facilities (reclining, one arm drive, elevating leg rests etc) are especially welcome. We can take NHS and non-NHS folding wheelchairs – ideally self-propelled (with two large back wheels rather than all small wheels).
We cannot accept any wheelchairs that don’t fold down; standing frames or zimmerframes; assisted-propelling wheelchairs (the ones with the small rear wheel); electric wheelchairs; books; medical equipment; orthotic equipment; broken equipment; blankets; positioning equipment; or children’s toys. We’re always happy to answer queries about donations, so please get in touch before dropping anything off, and we’ll be happy to advise you.
Due to transportation issues and conditions in the destination countries, Wheels for the World cannot accept powered wheelchairs, or wheelchairs or walkers that don't fold flat.
We don't have our own fleet of vans (or even a single van!) so we ask people to deliver donated wheelchairs to Aldershot (Hampshire) - please contact us for further details, and to make sure someone is available to receive the chairs.
We have an active Wheels for the World team in Northern Ireland. To donate wheelchairs within NI, please contact NI Coordinator Carol Mills.
Wheelchair donors within the USA should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Where is the Wheels Warehouse in Aldershot?
How can I sponsor a wheelchair or team member?
Please download a Wheels for the World sponsor form and send it with your payment to the Through the Roof office.
I’m aware of a need overseas for a Wheels wheelchair distribution. What’s the next step?
We have a number of criteria for a distribution. We always work in partnership with Christian churches or NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations) in developing countries and seek to use a distribution to share the message of valuing and including disabled people and to share a Christian message. Contact us for more information.
Surely ex-NHS chairs are not robust enough for the rough terrain of Africa and Eastern Europe?
We recognise that conditions are more demanding in these regions and ensure our chairs have new puncture-proof tyres and heavy duty front casters. We also try to establish a repair workshop where we make distributions, which can then supply spare parts.
Which countries does Wheels for the World visit?
So far, we have taken wheelchairs to Romania, Albania, Kenya, Ukraine, Jordan, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ghana, South Africa, Ethiopia and Tanzania. Some of these destinations have had several Wheels for the World distributions, and reports are posted under our Distributions section.
How are destination countries chosen?
We are approached with a request for wheelchairs by a mission organisation or church in the host country, which is already working with disabled people.
We consider the request at the International Missions team meeting and if we feel we should move to the next stage, send a representative to the country to meet the prospective partners, assess the needs, identify distribution venues and find suitable team accommodation.
Findings from the recce trip are shared at the next International Missions team meeting and a decision made as to the viability of the distribution.
What does a wheelchair distribution involve?
The container of wheelchairs and other mobility aids is sent in advance of the team arrival. A typical distribution usually lasts 8 – 12 days with the team staying in basic accommodation. Our therapists fit all our chairs most carefully to ensure safety and comfort, and all recipients and family members are instructed in the correct use and maintenance of their chair.
Wheels for the World meets the practical needs of the disabled person with a wheelchair and, as we are a Christian charity, we offer recipients a Bible in their own language and local people share the Christian message. Wheelchairs are given according to need regardless of whether the recipient has a faith or not. Team members speak in local churches and community halls, spreading the message of including disabled people and training church leaders.
We have a policy, where possible, to establish workshops with tools and spares with the aim of maintaining the chairs and also providing work for local disabled technicians.
Every distribution is an adventure with challenges, surprises and occasional disappointments; but predominantly of inspiration and encouragement.