Amputees and Families Support Group (AFSG) provide a unique support system for people who have had amputations or were born without limbs.
Established in 1986 by a dedicated group of people who felt alone and isolated when they first lost their limb(s). The group banded together to work out ways to support each other.
As time went on and programs started to come to life, the group went on to work with other amputees and their families.
They approached hospitals to get referrals to assist new amputees with accepting the loss of a limb and what this meant for their personal, professional, and recreational lives.
They also had programs to help family members and spouses deal with the emotions of a family member losing a limb.
Today, AFSG covers Queensland and provides short term items including recycled wheelchairs, commodes, and other immediate equipment to those who cannot afford it on release from hospital after amputation.
“We have volunteers who work on donated chairs to make them serviceable for clients who can’t afford them straight out of hospital,” said President Darren Wyer.
“Usually, a package to support an amputee can take months and these temporary loans really do make a big difference to people’s lives.”
Under the guidance of current Manager Lynda Tilley, Treasurer Sue Merry and President Darren Wyer, the group has moved into new premises at Ben Matthews Playground in Logan Central.
“In 2020 our new councillor approached us about moving on from the old site near the Logan Art Gallery into larger facilities at Ellen Street,” said Mr Wyer.
“Councillor Lane said the building was in terrible shape and it was, but over the course of 15 months and with a lot of consultation on our needs, council’s infrastructure project team managed to make it into a place we are proud to call home and it included a brand-new disability compliant carpark for staff and clients.”
But with new premises comes more work, and AFSG has been strongly advocating for services from various levels of government to improve the lives of amputees while running their usual programs.
So, it was with great happiness the group was told at their recent Christmas in July event that they had been successful in their lobbying. The announcement was a commitment of a total $9.3 million over the next four years from the Palaszczuk Government to provide waterproof prosthesis, where appropriate, through the Queensland Artificial Limb Services.
“This money will make such a huge difference to so many of our clients who need these prosthetics to lead normal lives.
“We are overjoyed that our local MP Cameron Dick and the State Government really listened to the needs of our amputees from across Queensland,” President Darren Wyer said.
Amputees and Families Support Group is located at 47-55 Ellen St Logan Central and can be contacted on 3290 4293. They do accept donations of disused wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
Services offered include:
· Peer support
· Information relevant to limb loss or limb difference
· Social outings, events and workshops
· Youth group activities
· Short term hire equipment
· NDIS and My Aged Care assistance and information