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Pharmaceutical leader kicks off week of working on wheels

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Eight keen employees swapped their legs for wheelchairs at Merck Sharp and Dohme’s Auckland office this Monday for Wheels at Work Week.

Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD) is an international pharmaceutical company providing medicines and vaccines. It is the first Auckland business to take part in this campaign in support of the New Zealand Spinal Trust.

Wheels at Work Week is being held from the 1st to the 5th of October and involves local business employees using wheelchairs for a day in the office. This is being done to highlight the difficulty of returning to work after a spinal cord injury.

Medical Manager of MSD Auckland, Mischa Winnard, said some challenges faced by MSD staff included making a cup of tea, fitting a wheelchair under a desk and accessing the toilet.

“Albeit being a council approved disbled toilet, some employees noted ‘she’s pretty cramped!”

Despite the challenges, MSD employees found their day in a wheelchair an enjoyable learning experience.

“Great idea and great challenge. It has certainly got lots of people talking in our building and given us a much greater appreciation of the challenges and how we might adapt our workplace if required” said Winnard.

There is plenty of room for more business to get involved, thanks to the support from Allied Medical who is supplying the wheelchairs throughout this campaign.

Financial company Deloitte is next to take part in Wheels at Work, with 20 eagar employees taking part in the challenge on Friday.

About The New Zealand Spinal Trust:
The New Zealand Spinal Trust provides back-to-work services, support networks and information resources for the 3,500 Kiwis with spinal cord impairments (from accident or illness), their families, carers and supporters.

The Trust has its head office at the Allan Bean Centre at Burwood Hospital, Christchurch, and the Auckland office is actively involved in develop awareness of the organisation’s work in the North Island.

Media release from AUT

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