Rolling for a good cause

The World Health Organisation estimates that of the 100 million people who need wheelchairs worldwide, only 5 – 15% have access. In South Africa wheelchair prices range from R2500 to ten times that amount. On 30 March, Delayne Gray, CEO: SBS Holdings, a Pinetown based water and food security company, spent 14 hours of his day in a wheelchair in support of the Little Eden CEO Wheelchair Challenge to elevate awareness of the challenges that those with limited mobility face, raising R88000.00 in cash and wheelchair donations for Little Eden and Made for More Adaptive Surfing in Durban.

“When I was challenged to participate in the 4th Annual Little Eden CEO Wheelchair Challenge, I jumped at the chance. We believe that doing good is doing good business,” says Delayne Gray, CEO: SBS. “It doesn’t always have to be at great personal or financial sacrifice – you can do what you can with what you have. Spending a day in a chair was not only inconvenient for me, but it was also challenging, exhausting and eye-opening. I am grateful to have been able to highlight some of the daily challenges faced by those with limited mobility – and raise funds at the same time.”

Gray says the company put out a challenge to their client, supplier, and employee network for donations, which are still coming in, with one supplier donating four wheelchairs, another teaming up with Made for More with a substantial direct donation and many of their staff being willing to volunteer during the Adaptive Surfing events.

SBS employees also got behind the challenge, not only donating funds but also taking the initiative to transform an area of the manufacturing facility into a mini basketball court complete with DIY grandstands. The court was used to host a wheelchair basketball match which donors and employees supported wholeheartedly making for a fun awareness event as part of the CEO Wheelchair Challenge.

“This is exactly the kind of response we were hoping for,” says Gray. “We want our stakeholders to partner with organisations that we support, and create awareness of their need for volunteers, funds and awareness around their causes. SBS is all about doing good business with like-minded individuals and organisations that want to work smart and build for better. It was certainly an example of what we call ‘using what you have, to do what you can, where you are’ which showcases our DNA.”

As part of creating awareness the friendly wheelchair basketball match in the factory premises in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal saw the KZN wheelchair basketball team, the Warriors and the Spears, take to the court to play the newly formed SBS Rollers, a highly motivated group of employees who got into wheelchairs to experience the difficulties of a fast-moving sport on wheels.

The event gave the Warriors an opportunity to showcase their skills, raise awareness of their team and the daily challenges they face, but also to highlight the fact that drive, passion, and great attitude will help you get ahead, no matter the challenges you endure.

“We are grateful for the support from our suppliers, clients and staff which has enabled us to support not only Little Eden but also Made for More and the Warriors. We have partnered with Made for More on their adaptive surfing programme for some time now, helping in the water and on the shore and are happy to now be partnering with Little Eden and the Warriors as well,” says Gray. “The challenge and event served to encourage more employees and suppliers to get involved with our existing Build for Better partners.”