Airedale Hospital launches equipment amnesty

Craven Herald: Friends of Airedale is organising the amnesty for walking aids and other equipment Friends of Airedale is organising the amnesty for walking aids and other equipment

Volunteers and staff at Airedale Hospital have joined forces to declare a second equipment amnesty in a bid to rescue lost wheelchairs, walking frames and other walking aids.

The Steeton hospital held a similar amnesty nearly two years ago and hundreds of pairs of crutches, walking sticks, and walking aids worth around £3,000 were returned during the month-long initiative.

Several wheelchairs were also handed in.

The amnesty is being supported by therapy staff and the Friends of Airedale, one of the hospital’s charities.

Kelvin Whiting, therapy manager, said: “When wheelchairs or walking aids are no longer needed people sometimes forget to return them, or if something’s broken they worry about returning it. But we can often repair them or take serviceable parts to maintain others.

“We are appealing to people to bring back any crutches, walking sticks and wheelchairs they no longer use, which will boost our stocks and help to ensure we have enough walking and mobility aids for future patients.”

Eileen Proud, chairman of the Friends of Airedale, said: “Each wheelchair costs around £400 so even if just a few are returned it all adds up. It also means we don’t have to spend our resources replacing items that could be gathering dust in people’s homes.”

The charity has set up two areas at Airedale Hospital where people can drop off wheelchairs and other walking aids themselves, just inside the main entrance and in the outpatients department.

People who do not have transport can call the charity’s patient transport service on 01535 294626 between 9.30am and 12 noon, Monday to Friday and arrange for the equipment to be collected. Messages can be left on the answer phone at other times.

The amnesty will run until the end of the month.

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