ROLLING INSPIRATION reader Jodie Kroone shares this incredible story of one manager who took the complaints of a local customer seriously – with amazing results.
“A manager who walks the talk – hallelujah!” says Dee Diane Botha Beukes, a regular customer at Richdens SuperSpar, Richdens Village Centre, in Hillcrest, Kwazulu-Natal.
A quick visit to the grocery store is somewhat of a simple routine. Yet for wheelchair users it poses a tiresome dilemma. Would we need to call for assistance from a store clerk or could we manage to do our shopping independently?
The latter presents the difficulty of pushing a trolley or juggling a handful of items while simultaneously wheeling oneself through the aisles. More often than not we must go through the trouble of involving a third party to accompany us through the process, including picking out and carrying our personal items.
Beukes, who understands the strain of shopping for wheelchair users, started a campaign with the agenda of introducing accessible trolleys in grocery stores. She had approached several big-name retailers, but continued to hear the same old excuse: “It’s coming.”
Until one local store owner took the problem into his own hands. Marc Anderson, the new owner of Richdens SuperSpar, happily listened to Beukes’s request and the very next day she received the call to come and test out a modified trolley that Anderson and his maintenance employee had engineered. The new trolley has a lower basket that attaches to a wheelchair so that the costumer can focus on pushing themselves, allowing them to shop independently.
At last the wishes of many shoppers have been met. The initiative Anderson took to turn a supermarket run into a trouble-free experience for wheelchair users is a much-appreciated service.
QASA congratulated Anderson on his efforts to assist wheelchair users and has awarded him a certificate of appreciation for creating modified trolleys instore. We hope his work encourages more service providers to strive for inclusivity and accessibility for all.
Ari Seirlis is the CEO of the QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA) and managing editor of Rolling Inspiration. email: firstname.lastname@example.org