Quadruple amputee met volunteers ahead of African trip
Just one month ahead of their trip to Malawi, where they will carry out vital maintenance work at a prosthetic and orthotic centre, staff and apprentices from Glasgow construction firm City Building met quadruple amputee, Olivia Giles OBE.
Phoebe Ali (19), Cameron Moir (20) and Craig Butler (19), who are all in the third-year of their apprenticeships, were met by Olivia, who founded charity 500 miles, which runs the centre in Lilongwe.
The centre has provided life-changing rehabilitation to over 13,000 patients since it opened in 2010. 500 miles supports the development and delivery of prosthetic services in Malawi and Zambia, helping people with impaired mobility to get moving and have a better quality of life. Phoebe, Cameron and Craig will be joined by a team of City Building tradespeople to carry out important regeneration work at the premises in September.
Olivia recently visited the team at City Building to discuss the work that will be carried out over a two-week trip. The team along with colleagues from the Lord Provost of Glasgow’s office have committed to carry out roof repairs, install new bathrooms, fit air conditioning units throughout the clinic and give the interiors and furniture an upgrade. They will also upgrade the electricals and carry out a deep clean.
Phoebe, Cameron, Craig, along with City Building’s wider workforce, have taken on a number of fundraising initiatives to aid the trip, including a bungee jump, five-a-side football tournament and a charity evening. Over £5,000 was raised, which will go towards travel fees and the cost of building materials. Any tools that will not be used by City Building staff whilst in Malawi will be donated to the clinic for ongoing maintenance.
Dr. Graham Paterson, executive director at City Building, said: “I am very proud of our team, who are not only incredibly hard workers, but are also committed to helping those who are in need.
“Over the last few months, the entire workforce has got behind the trip to Malawi, helping to raise those all-important funds that allow us to make this trip happen. Our team of volunteers are raring to go and I’m sure it’ll be a trip they will remember for the rest of their lives.”
City Building have visited Malawi four times, carrying out building and restoration work at a variety of health clinics in the area. This year is the first that female volunteers will travel to carry out the work.
“I can hardly believe it is nine years since the City Building team handed me the keys to the brand-new building at Kamuzu Central Hospital – or that they are now coming back to give it a thorough refurbishment! Our premises are in use, day in and day out, providing artificial limbs and splints and braces for limbs, spine and neck, at an average production rate of over 100 devices per month.
“500 miles is extremely grateful for all the time, planning and fundraising which has gone into this initiative. This enormous effort will enable us to keep on going and to keep many more people in Malawi mobile and active. Thank you!”