From my first steps on African soil my senses were bombarded with new sights and smells but you quickly notice there is a slower pace of people, writes new Wheels team member Graham Watts.
It’s my first time in Africa and my first experience as part of a charity organisation so whilst I was full of excitement, part of me was wondering how I would deal with what was required of me over the next 10 days.
From the start I was made very welcome by the rest of my team and each one has taken the time to offer help and advice, drawing on many years of involvement on similar trips.
The first day of distribution quickly gave me an insight to my role as a technician and after setting up an area for repair/adjustment I started by making good a small number of wheelchairs that weren’t quite ready or fit for use. This also gave me the chance to familiarise myself with the different parts of a wheelchair.
Before long I was put to the test by the therapists, who had begun to process the disabled people that had turned up. They had completed the hardest task of understanding the disability and then deciding on the best mobility equipment needed. My challenge as the technician was to make the necessary adjustments to give each person the best possible aid.
Many of the adjustments were simple ‘quick fixes’ involving either raising/lowering foot plates or adding a lap belt. On occasion the person’s disability required a little more thought due to the complexity of their disability and a number of foam shapes (especially cut) were added to give support to either a head or a limb.
From the first day of distribution I was humbled by the open welcome we all received from both the disabled people and also the family members who had brought them along.
I will leave Africa with the everlasting impression of its people and the warm welcome they gave to us all. I will also go home with the knowledge that the small part I played has gone some way to help and improve the quality of life of the people we help.
Thanks to the Corporate Sponsorship scheme operated by Flowstore Systems, sales engineer Graham Watts is jetting off to Africa for charity work which will see him modifying redundant, yet refurbished, wheelchairs to make them suitable for disabled people. Leaving on April 10, he will spend 10 days with a six-strong team in and around Kampala, modifying at least 160 wheelchairs for their new users – many of whom will never have been mobile before.
Graham is employed in Flowstore’s Flowtube division, where he designs Lean work cells for UK manufacturers. He will be working in Uganda with Wheels for the World, an initiative run by the international charity Through the Roof, which is backed by Flowstore’s sponsorship scheme. He joins the team as a support technician and, collaborating with physiotherapists and other specialists, he will use his mechanical assembly and carpentry experience to modify and adjust the wheelchairs to suit the recipients.
The Wheels for the World programme operates in various countries where wheelchairs and mobility aids are in limited supply.
To aid the charity’s continuing work and the costs incurred through the trip, donations may be made via Just Giving http://www.justgiving.com/Flowstore-Systems-Ltd. Any gifts made through this can qualify for Gift Aid income tax amounts to be claimed by the charity for UK tax payers, so do follow the donation instructions in this respect.Please also specify that you wish the donation to be for the ‘Wheels For The World’ project. Through The Roof is a Registered number 1087788
Zita, an employee of Flowstore, was a London Ambassador during the 2012 Olympics. Inspired by the Managing Director, Simon Dennis who spear headed Flowstore’s charitable program, Zita wanted to volunteer her time to welcome visitors from all over the UK and the world to London.
The call was for people with a passion, enthusiasm and pride for London that easily rubs off on everyone else. They were looking for people with fantastic people skills as London Ambassadors; that have the confidence, patience and resilience to communicate with people from all walks of life.
It was no surprise that Zita as accepted as one of the 80,000 ambassadors (from the 360,000 applicants) as it is Zita who greets people when they visit Flowstore’s offices or answers many of the phone calls that are made to the office.
Frequently applauded by the media and celebrities for the great contribution they made, Zita was thrilled to be a London Ambassador – and for-ever a follower of fashion, is pretty pleased she can keep the uniform!
Tournament Nets Cash for Six Wheelchairs
Flowstore staff quickly got the ball rolling for our newly adopted charity, Wheels for the World, by holding a sponsored five-a-side football tournament at our local Goals Soccer Centre in Hayes. The charity organises the restoration of old NHS wheelchairs for distribution to the third world – see below.
As part of our Social Responsibility Policy the firm had pledged to try and fund one wheelchair a month – but the event was so successful that it raised enough for six!
Tim Wood, the charity’s chief executive, who blew the whistle to start the match said:
Organised by employees Ibby Hussain and Wayne Verrill, the tournament trophy went to the Flowstore factory team who won 16-13 on total goals scored. It was a doubly successful day for Wayne as he netted eight goals, earning him the Golden Boot for top scorer.
We at Flowstore have decided to get involved with a charity through our Corporate Social Responsibility Policy initiative.
We’ve had a first meeting with staff, who saw a very moving video from *Wheels for the World and agreed it was a charity we could support.
Wheels for the World re-furbish wheelchairs (which are a great fit as they are made from tubes & wheels!!) and send them to developing countries, along with physiotherapists and other social support.
Not only have Flowstore made an initial donation, which will finance a container of wheel chairs, the staff have already met their initial target of sponsoring a wheelchair a month.
The FlowTube team have built a money-box wheel-chair made from FlowTube to collect spare change in the tubes. The length of the collecting tubes is made to collect a round sum of specific coins. As they say the only limit to FlowTube is your imagination!
(*Wheels for the World is part of Through the Roof Charitable Trust Ltd – Charity No: 1087788)
FlowTube’s modular staging system is a competitively priced and highly effective staging system, which gives the user ultimate choice and flexibility. Whether it is to be used as at exhibitions, as a mobile stage, a church or school stage, a fashion runway or model catwalk it can either be a standalone build or integrated into an existing structure.
You can choose the height, width, colour, virtually any layout configuration, and whether it’s can be permanent or temporary. The FlowTube staging system is easy to build and the perfect solution for most staging requirements.
Using reusable steel tubes, joints, and accessories a stage can be customised for any specific use, and its configuration changed in next to no time. The possibilities are endless.
The FlowTube stage is strong, safe and lightweight and packs away into a compact mobile trolley, which takes up minimal space and can be moved into position with ease.
There is a choice of eight tube colours and two joint finishes. We can create a visual of your finished stage.
The new FlowTube Banner Frame System is a competitively priced highly versatile solution, which gives the user ultimate flexibility. Whether it is to be used in any display scenario or exhibition or retail environments where a display banner is required. It can either be a standalone banner or integrated into an existing retail, display or exhibition system.
You can choose the width, height, colour, and whether it’s can be temporary or permanent. Easy-to-build, the FlowTube banner frame system is the perfect solution for most display requirements.
Click here to read more about our banner frame system
Flowstore recently installed an order picking system for internet organic food delivery specialists, Abel & Cole. Flowstore’s Carton Live Storage system, LS2, has meant that Abel & Coles order picking capacity has doubled, and picks-per-person have increased.
"We would not have coped without the new live storage
|Our Move: In Autumn 2008 we moved..........but not far.
Our address, post code & phone details are all new
Flowstore Systems Ltd, Fairview Business Centre
29-31 Clayton Road, Hayes,
Middlesex UB3 1AN
Tel: +44 (0) 845 270 3633
Fax: +44 (0) 845 270 3643
(all calls charged at a local rate)
|Adjustable height workstations: An height adjustable workstation has been designed to either sit on any workstation, or be integrated into the build of FlowTube workstations and work benches.
This now means the worktop can be customised for different activities and operators. The worktop can be raised above the pre-set height or alternatively if the adjustable worktop is counter sunk into the workstation the top can now be raised or lowered and customised for different uses, regardless of the manufacturing sector.
To read more about FlowTube’s workstations click here
| Toyota chose FlowTube: Pioneers of Lean Manufacturing, Toyota, selected FlowTube as a versatile system to use in their European Global Production Training Centre, E-GPC. Having used our products before, FlowTube was chosen as the most suitable solution to support the construction of bespoke custom designs for the dedicated production-training centre.
FlowTube is already extensively used in the main manufacturing and assembly plant, as it complies with the Continuous Improvement Technique, otherwise known as Kaizen.
To read more about our Toyota appointment click here
| DuraFlow: October 2006 saw the launch of Flowstore’s latest product DuraFlow.
DuraFlow is a pre-assembled modular wheel system designed to simply and quickly convert most pallet rack structures into dynamic, versatile carton flow storage. Strong multi-wheel roller track sections are supplied in standard widths of 305 or 405mm with universal beam hooks enabling easy positioning onto existing pallet rack cross beams.
It only takes a few minutes to fit a whole shelf level, saving up to 90% of the usual installation time for live storage systems.
To read more about Duraflow click here