Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sydney Buddhist Centre:wheelchairs are go!

Nalaka Nick Maddocks writes from the FWBO’s Sydney Buddhist Centre with a rare bit of news from the Sangha ‘down under’ - the first of a number of stories from them, we’re promised...

He says - “Let's roll! Wheelchairs are a go!

“Fabulous news! The Sydney Buddhist Centre (SBC) has received funding to upgrade its building as part of the New South Wales Government's Community Building Partnership. The SBC was one of 13 local community organisations to receive funding and has been awarded $10,000. Winning the grant was the result of a group effort by Order Members, Mitras and friends who completed the application forms and encouraged others to vote for the SBC's application in an online poll.

“The SBC plans to use the $10, 000 funding from the grant to upgrade the building so that it is more wheelchair accessible. The modifications required to make the SBC more wheelchair friendly include:

– Installation of wheelchair access ramps to permit wheelchair movement into and within the SBC
– Widening and replacing internal doorways
– The installation of disabled grab rails in one of the centre toilets
– Repairs and upgrade to damaged tiles on the steps leading to the front entrance

“So where do we go from here? Once the upgrade has been completed at the Sydney Buddhist Centre (SBC) we will begin to promote it as a wheelchair-accessible Buddhist centre. This means that all ongoing meditation courses and Sangha nights will be available to people in a wheelchair. The SBC already caters for about 160 people who attend regular weekly classes, and about 300 people who undertake beginners meditation or Buddhism courses for the first time every year. We are very pleased that our centre will become more accessible to a broader population of people after these renovations. There will also be the option in the near future, if the need arises, for meditation courses for people experiencing chronic pain, illness or a disability. This is very positive news for the SBC.

“To find out more about the SBC and to see our upcoming courses, please visit:

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