Wolffe takes disabled campaign to next level
LaKiesha Wolffe's goal is “to change Bermuda” for the disabled.
Now Ms Wolffe, who lost a leg after a crash six years ago, is ready to launch her consultancy service for the disabled.
It came after she won a place last month among eight businesspeople on the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation's Enterprise Bermuda incubator programme. She said: “BEDC provided an office, laptops, down to pens and notebooks.
“The advice is amazing, especially for somebody like myself who is a little temperamental.”
Ms Wolffe was at first wheelchair-bound, used crutches, and now has an artificial leg.
She said she made no apology about campaigning for more special parking bays, ramps and other aids for the disabled.
Ms Wolffe added: “I have come out of wanting to die every single day to wanting to help other people to live in a sustainable, functional way.
“At the end of the day, I am here to help. I'm going to push, and push hard.
“I hope Bermuda can see the this company being here.”
Her firm, New Life Consulting, was set up to give guidance on mobility problems and dealing with care providers, as well as checking the accessibility of residential and commercial buildings and helping people lead independent lives.
Ms Wolffe said: “It's not just consulting for those who are challenged, but for everybody.”
She has gained qualifications in social work, mental health and management through online courses, and said she hoped to enlist students looking for summer work or community service hours to help in her campaign.
The move is a timely one, with two assisted para-triathlete teams competing this weekend in MS Amlin World Triathlon Bermuda.
Team Ladybugs from the UK, with Chloe Couture helped by her father, Stephan, will take part in the Individual Sprint Triathlon on Saturday, as well as ThumbsUp International, Kerry Gruson and her coach, Erinne Guthrie.
Ms Gruson founded the charity ThumbsUp International in 2015, and has called the disabled “front line warriors” in a new civil rights movement.
Ms Wolffe said work needed to be done all over Bermuda, from accessibility at the recent Agricultural Exhibition, to the “nightmare” of parking in Hamilton.
She said: “The reason I hate coming to town is parking and having to walk long distances. “As an example, I would like to provide a service where people could be taken out shopping, instead of having to keep coming back to your car.”
Ms Wolffe met Charles Gosling, the Mayor of Hamilton, on Thursday, to discuss accessibility. which she said was “awesome”.
She added: “I have big plans to help change things in Bermuda through this company.”
Ms Wolffe said the BEDC had also advised her to apply for a charitable division because many of her clients would struggle with financing.
The majority of clients on financial assistance are seniors and the disabled. Ms Wolffe, a 38-year-old mother of two daughters, said she looked forward to the official launch of A New Life Consulting on May 1.
She added: “Throughout this journey, I have had the strong support of my family and my friends. My family are amazing. They have stood by me wholeheartedly.”
She also thanked her insurer, BF&M, for an allowance of up to $100,000 to cover the cost of her “life changing” prosthetic leg that has enabled her to walk again by herself.
• To learn more about A New Life Consulting, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 292-5570 or 703-9912