In the wake of the cancellation of the sporting events that make up the FNB Drak Adventure Week in Underberg, the sponsors have stepped in to help out community organisations that normally derive income from helping out at the three races, starting with the hard-working Underberg Emergency Medical Services.
The tireless paramedics, who service the entire greater Underberg and Himeville community, were bowled over when FNB stepped in with a massive donation that included a mobile ventilator, two oxygenators as well as essential personal protective equipment for the paramedics and ambulance staff from event sponsors FNB, N3TC and Euro Steel.
“We were thrilled when we were asked to motivate for items that would make a meaningful difference to the service we provide, and were totally overwhelmed when they came back and approved just about our entire wish-list,” said MD of the UEMS Kate Quinn.
“Without exaggerating, this donation is literally life-saving,” she explained.
“Oxygen is in such short supply at the moment, and the oxygen concentrator guarantees that we have a quality oxygen supply for all our patients that need it. One of our challenges is that we are a two hour trip to the nearest major hospital, and the ventilator is a game-changer for us.
“We are so overworked and hard-pressed at the moment, and to get such an overwhelming show of generosity and support makes a huge difference, practically and emotionally,” she explained.
“We are here to serve the entire community, and these donations allow us to do so much more for the patients we look after. But for our team, the knowledge that there are people who appreciate what we do has done so much for the staff morale.
“It is pretty much a dream fulfilled and, after the FNB Drak Adventure Weekend was cancelled, this generosity caught us by surprise, and has made a huge difference to this community,” explained Quinn.
“We get involved in the FNB Drak Adventure Weekend in Underberg as a way to get closer to the community,” said Asheen Magjee, FNB KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Head.
“The event organiser’s decision to help as much as they can to support their community projects sat well with us and we are glad that we could play a part in that community upliftment and support process.”
“Cancelling the events during the Covid-19 lockdown was a difficult decision to reach, but we all agreed it was the correct response. However, we are acutely aware that there are a number of community organisations that benefit from the weekend by earning income for services they provide.”
“They were compromised by these decisions. So we reached out to them to explore ways to assist. The Underberg Emergency Medical Services are top of mind as they are particularly stretched at the moment and provide a vital service to the broader community.”
“We would like to acknowledge the efforts of the Underberg Emergency Medical Services as well as others involved and thank them for saving lives and supporting the community through this pandemic. It is therefore a privilege to have helped them continue with their great efforts that are sincerely appreciated.
“The equipment requested by the Underberg Emergency Medical Services has the ability to make a meaningful and sustainable difference to the people they serve, which made it an easy decision for us to support,” he added.