What is the Legs4Africa Gold Badge and why has Kelvin got one?
The Legs4Africa Gold Badge cannot be bought, it can only be earned. Reserved for extraordinary advocates, supporters and members of the Legs4Africa family the Gold Badge is always presented to complete LEGends in person.
Since Warmley Mens Shed started working with Legs4Africa they have dismantled a staggering 725 prosthetic legs at their workshop in the Kingswood Heritage museum. These days prosthetic legs are made up of interchangeable parts such as a foot, pylon, a knee, a couple of adaptors and a socket. Most of the components are made from high grade materials that are extremely durable and still have plenty of life in them.
The legs come from all over the country and end up on the workbenches in the museum where they are dismantled into their components. Once dismantled these parts head to the Legs4Africa unit in Bristol where they are serviced and then shipped to vetted prosthetic limb fitting centres in Africa. So components that the Warmley Mens Shed have dismantled have ended up in The Gambia, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya where they have been used to build new legs for amputees who would otherwise not have access to a prosthetic leg.
Although many of the retired gents at the Warmley Mens Shed muck in with the project, Kelvin has been devoted to the dismantling since the collaboration with Legs4Africa began. When Kelvin arrives on Thursday mornings he heads straight to the legs store room and pulls out an armful of limbs, takes them to the bench and gets to work. When he finishes these he goes back for more until either the day is over or the limbs have run out.
Kelvin, along with the other Shedders at Warmley, has gone above and beyond and without his hard work there would simply be less people walking again. To acknowledge Kelvin’s dedication, Legs4Africa have awarded him with the Gold Badge in recognition of his invaluable services. With only a limited number of Gold Badges made in the entire world, you gotta do something pretty special like Kelvin to be awarded one of these medals.
Meet Judith – Uganda
Judith, from Kampala district, Uganda, is twenty years old. Her leg was amputated above the knee as a result of cancer. Judith has no contact with her mother and without her prosthetic limb she wouldn’t be able to help care for her father who is a polio survivor.
At a craft skills workshop in Lugazi that Legs4Africa helped facilitate, Judith learnt to make items to sell and was given a small starter pack of materials to take away with her. In a few months we will check back in to see if Judith has been able to begin generating some regular income.