Collaborating to Raise Awareness for a good cause

Sets,Drapes,Screens (SDS) was able assist Ana Martins, one of the Draughting team at Gearhouse South Africa’s Johannesburg offices to fulfil a project that was close to her heart. She had heard through her partner at Beswick & Fellowes that their team was intending to participate in the Office National X-treme Chair Race. The reasons behind their decision struck a chord and she immediately volunteered her time and creative input to the cause.The purpose of the event was to raise awareness on mobility devices and assist the QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA) in raising funds for wheelchairs and assistive devices. QASA strives to develop the full potential of quadriplegics and paraplegics nationwide. 

“The challenge was to 'pimp, modify and accessorise a non-motorized office chair' and my suggestion was to design and make a go-kart with the office chair mounted inside while at the same time incorporating the company’s bulldog emblem into the theme,” explains Ana, “I had the will and the capability… all we needed was for someone to build it. I approached my colleagues at SDS with the idea and they were happy to help.”

SDS built the cart using off-cuts from the set building operation to make it as cost-effective as possible and had it up and running within a few days, even managing to sneak in a quick test-run in the warehouse before handing it over. 

 “I truly appreciate SDS commitment to working against the clock to construct my design within a very tight deadline. After that came the hardest part for me.. the long hours of freehand art work to complete the project to my own, somewhat exacting, standards.” 

The Bulldog Chariot debuted at Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit on the 13 May 2017 and was warmly received. “Our team didn’t win,” says Ana “but that didn’t dampen our spirits. I believe in allowing yourself to be exposed to opportunities and I’m very fortunate to have been given this platform to showcase my talent and passion for creating and hopefully we were able to make a small difference in the lives of those who are differently-abled at the same time.”

Story Robyn D’Alessandro, Photo courtesy Ana Martins

Jun 22, 2017

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