When the Operations and Health and Safety management teams of Teijin Automotive Technologies gathered in San Antonio, Texas, recently, operational improvement was not the only focus of the gathering. The team also worked together to create wheel spoke guards to be fitted to wheelchairs that would be donated to individuals around the world.

During this collaborative, team-building project, more than 50 Teijin Automotive employees broke into teams to learn more about the wheelchair recipients and the organization providing the chairs – The Walkabout Foundation. Presented as case studies, the teams learned about past recipients and their individual needs and had to answer specific questions to earn the right to decorate the wheel spoke guards. When completed, each team gave a presentation about why they chose to decorate the cover as they did.

“As we were planning our first post-COVID in-person gathering, we wanted to be sure we had team-building elements included on the agenda,” explained Dina Graham, vice president, Environmental Legal Affairs, Health, Safety and Sustainability. “But even more than that, we wanted to do something that enabled us to be a good corporate citizen, and to give back to those in need. This project was a great cross-section of both.”

The colorfully decorated wheel spoke guards are donated to The Walkabout Foundation, a UK- and US-registered charity with the mission of restoring dignity, freedom, and independence by providing wheelchairs and rehabilitation to individuals in the developing world. Since its founding in 2009, the foundation has donated nearly 24,000 wheelchairs to individuals who otherwise could not afford one.

The donated wheel spoke guards are not only an important safety feature – ensuring that the users’ fingers don’t get pinched in the wheels – they are also a bright, decorative touch that reduces the fear and stigma that a wheelchair can produce for the recipient.

“Mobility in all forms is important to us, including that which is provided via wheelchairs for people who need them,” said Teijin Automotive Technologies CEO Chris Twining. “This activity enabled us to provide much needed safety items to wheelchair users, while at the same time building camaraderie and really showcasing the creativity of our team.”

[Source(s): Teijin Automotive Technologies, Newswise]

[CAPTION: The Teijin Automotive Technologies EH&S and Operations teams show off their wheel spoke guards, which will be donated to wheelchair users around the world. (Photo: Business Wire)]