Blog: Graeme RobertsCharity begins with apprentices

Graeme Roberts | 26 February 2016

Apprentices built the young horse rider a set of well engineered, JLR-branded mobile steps

Apprentices built the young horse rider a set of well engineered, JLR-branded mobile steps

A lot of good stuff involving charities goes on behind the automaking scenes here in England.

An initiative worth mentioning popped into the just-auto inbox last night - Tata Motors' Jaguar Land Rover's new scheme which "matches skilled employees to specific community challenges as part of its successful employee volunteering programme which sees around 10,000 Jaguar Land Rover employees, a third of its UK workforce, donate over 115,000 hours on community volunteering per year".

The case they're publicising saw a team of apprentices join with Remap, a national charity which matches skilled volunteers with people affected by disability, to help them develop equipment which overcome specific issues.

Apprentices met young rider Keeley Cullen, aged eight and with cerebral palsy, and observed her at a therapy session. Keeley has always been lifted onto a horse but, during a recent inspection, the Ford Farm stables were told this could no longer happen so she would have to stop riding. Riding for the Disabled Association then approached REMAP’s Southampton branch to see if they could help find a solution.

The apprentice team designed steps, which needed to be moveable and lightweight and wide enough for carer and child, overcoming challenges such as how to make the steps mobile, welding aluminium and sourcing a non-slip surface for the steps.

Result - the young lady got to keep riding and JLR deservedly gets a plug for its efforts every time the steps are rolled out.

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