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The Full Story

Paper-based furniture was first evolved in the late 1970s by Bevill Packer in Harare, Zimbabwe. Jean and Kennett Westmacott have devoted almost all their working lives to developing assistive devices from low cost readily available material. 


From 1983 - 1994 they ran an inspirational workshop in HEARU, the strapline for which was Training and Research in Appropriate Disability Design.  It was originally part of the City of London Polytechnic that became the London Guildhall University. 

Students from overseas attending the London University Masters course in CBR learned about making assistive devices from low cost material in the workshop as part of their degree, Kennett was invited to a Conference in 1988 and he saw what Bevill and his wife were making APT items.


Jean was an Honorary Lecturer at the Centre of International Child Health (CICH). Jean joined in to the training that Bevill was for the Rehabilitation Technicians and learned the skills from Bevill by designing assistive equipment for children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. When he visited the UK in 1991, he was delighted to see the Community Based Rehabilitation (CBRs), all from different countries being taught APT. 


Kennett and Jean were invited to many parts of the world giving training in wood and mostly training in child development using APT by Jean: - Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh, Canada, Cuba, Ethiopia, India, Lebanon, Malaysia, Syria, Turkey.  PFSE concentrated on Africa especially, teaching Special Needs Teachers communities and families to make this equipment for their children.


Jean and Kennett worked closely with health professionals and several charities, especially Cerebral Palsy Africa. They have been doing this vital work for over forty years, as well as running training courses for physiotherapy practitioners and volunteers from their home in Hampshire. 

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