First Car Rental drives Students with Disabilities

First Car Rental drives Students with Disabilities

First Car Rental

First Car Rental is the official transport sponsor for Students with Disabilities at the University of the Free State.

First Car Rental has donated two vehicles - a passenger vehicle and a minibus - that have been adapted so as to transport disabled students to and from UFS's Bloemfontein campus.

First Car Rental

The new UFS passanger car. (L-R): Andrea Voster (First Car Rental Sales Manager for Free State and Northern Cape), Hetsie Veitch (Head of the USD) and Yolandi Kuhn (First Car Rental Branch Manager at Bloemfontein).

In 2001, UFS founded the Unit for Students with Disabilities (USD) as part of its aim to support disabled students. In 2011, the USD celebrated its 10 year anniversary, having grown from supporting 12 students to more than 130 students.

The USD offers support to registered students with disabilities at UFS, including all disability designations such as visual impairment, hearing impairment, mobility impairment and specific learning impairments. The support offered is individualised for each student according to his/her specific needs to ensure student success and a complete student life experience at the UFS, striving towards full inclusion and integration in all aspects of student life.

Transport a high priority

Providing transport for the students with disabilities has been identified as a high priority for the USD since 2008 as many students are faced with great challenges in this regard. Many times wheelchair-using students have to pay extra fees for public transport because their wheelchairs take up more space in a taxi. Commuting between the two campuses of the UFS in Bloemfontein has been problematic for students and could cost up to R60 per day.

First Car Rental responded to this heartfelt issue with a solution, donating two vehicles to the USD.

First Car Rental

The new UFS minibus. (L-R): Mokgethi Tshabalala (Executive Head of Thebe Foundation), Hetsie Veitch (Head of the USD) and Bruce Barritt (Managing Director of First Car Rental).

Says Hetsie Veitch, Chief Officer: Student Affairs at the USD, "Receiving the sponsored vehicles from First Car Rental is a dream come true for me, as the head of the USD, and for the students. The use of the vehicles in establishing a proper transport system for the students will change the lives of many of them, affording them the time to focus on their studies and not stressing about getting around anymore."

Says Mr Bruce Barritt, Managing Director at First Car Rental, "First Car Rental people are purple hearted! We are delighted to have been able to assist this wonderful university, its staff and students, by giving them 2 vehicles that will provide much needed transport for our students with disabilities. First Car Rental has enormous respect for people who achieve against all odds and and it is an honour to be able to serve them."

Click here to read more about First Car Rental's CSR projects.

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