Community pitches in for Walmsley House Garage

By PSS | Posted: Thursday March 26, 2020

With a healthy dose of kiwi ingenuity and a little ‘who knows who’ networking, PSS Enliven’s Property & Procurement Manager Mark Dowling has turned an old shipping container into a fit-for-purpose mobility scooter garage – And Walmsley House residents couldn’t be happier!

Mark says the idea of repurposing a shipping container to make a garage that could suitably house (and charge) Walmsley House residents’ mobility scooters had its roots in PSS’s centennial celebrations of last year.

“At the time, there was suggestion a static display would move amongst a number of our sites,” explains Mark, “and I thought a converted shipping container might offer an ideal solution for that and exhibiting at the likes of Waimumu (Field Days).”

“The shipping container idea kind of stuck with me from thereon-in!”

A chance conversation with PSS’s Marketing and Communications Manager’s fiancé, Kris Walker – a past employee of South Port - lead to the procurement of a suitable shipping container at “a very competitive price” and the project began to snowball from there.Mark says the different facets to the project fell into place with relative ease thanks to the expertise of the local firms involved.

“Right from the highly-skilled transport team to the engineer, the electricians, excavator and asphalt pavers – They’ve all been incredibly generous with their ideas, know-how and contacts.”

“An extra special shout-out goes to Purdues who transported the shipping container and craned it onsite totally free-of-charge.”

The end result of this innovative endeavour is a safe, secure and readily accessible garage that can accommodate up to 5 mobility scooters. Features of the new garage include: a ramp and a large automatic front-door for easy and regular access; custom wooden shelving to safely hold the chargers; numerous power points; good lighting; and last, but not least, a great paint-job in Enliven’s signature blue.

A number of the residents have taken an avid interest in the project, habitually appraising Mark’s work and reporting back to others on progress made.

“For many of our residents, their mobility scooters give them a certain amount of freedom and independence and so they’re quite invested in this new garage.”
Walmsley House Manager Jenifer De Jesus agrees.

“It’s not just about getting from A to B. Our residents’ mobility scooters help them stay connected to the people, interests and activities that matter to them in the community.”Jenifer adds that alongside the life-enhancing benefits mobility scooters offer, comes the responsibility of safely storing and charging them in compliance with fire and Health & Safety regulations.

“The new garage is just the bee’s knees,” says Jenifer.

“It ticks all the boxes and means Walmsley House resident riders can continue to live their lives to the fullest!”

… It’s as good as gold! - I can ride my scooter right up into it, charge it overnight and I’m good to go the next day for a trip to the shops, Queen’s Park, or to visit my niece in Jenkin Street.”