Meet the Team: Richard Dawe

Seating Technician and seating specialist portrait photo from Chunc

Meet Richie, our seating technician and Spica chair specialist at Chunc. With a unique blend of professional expertise and personal passion, Richie brings a wealth of experience and a heartwarming commitment to making a difference in the lives of young people. Let’s dive into this Q&A session to learn more about Richie and the invaluable role he plays.

Q: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?

A: I’m a proud father of two wonderful children. I spent under 3 years in the armed forces from 1999 to 2002 but my career was set back due to breaking my leg very severely whilst on exercise. I was medically discharged to enable my recovery and during this time I met my wife. After leaving the military I worked in security but gradually worked my way back towards a hands-on facilities-based role at HR Smith Group. After a few years, I transferred to its sister company Chunc as a production operative.

Q: What attracted you to joining Chunc?

A: I’ve always had a general interest in engineering, discovering how things work and using them to their most efficient capacity, which attracted me to the production operative role at Chunc.

Q. How long have you been with Chunc, and what are your primary roles and responsibilities?

A: I’m delighted to be celebrating my tenth anniversary at Chunc!

After a couple of years of learning the products, I attended an appointment for a wheelchair fitting near Leeds to support one of our seating specialists. This was my first experience of working with a young disabled person. Fast forward a few years and after attending the Oxford Course in Postural Management for Adults and Children with Complex Disabilities, I became a sales support technician and I’m now known as the ‘Spica guy’. The Spica is a fantastic indoor and outdoor manual rehabilitation wheelchair for children ages 3 and upwards recovering from spinal and hip surgeries. A key part of my role is setting up and servicing these chairs to help children and young people across the UK with their post-operative recovery. Through this work, I’ve built very good relationships with many OTs both in the community and hospital settings.

Nothing is more rewarding than seeing the smile on a young person’s face when they realise they can get out of bed post-surgery and either return home from hospital or simply take a very important step in their recovery.

I never expected to work in this industry as a young man but as I have gotten older it is true to say that this is simply the most rewarding role in employment that I have ever had and every day can be a different learning experience – enabling me to hone my skills.

Q: Is there anything about yourself that might surprise your team members?

A: I was in fact a competitive mountain biker and participated in the national series in 1997!

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