Physiotherapists at the Trust’s Cote Lane retirement community have donated a van load of unwanted walking frames to a local charity that helps amputees in Africa.
Legs4Africa came to the Garden House nursing care home to collect 21 walking frames that were rounded-up by members of the Trust’s physiotherapy team.
The walking frames will be exported as part of a larger shipment of mobility equipment and prosthetic legs that will go to support amputees in Nigeria.
St Monica Trust’s Senior Physiotherapist, Simon Jones said:
Finding an ethical solution to what to do with unwanted walking frames has always been a bit of an issue for the physio team.
In the past we’ve had to send them to a compactor, so finding a local charity that will recycle mobility equipment and put it to such a good use was perfect for us.
Legs4Africa collect and export unwanted prosthetic legs and other mobility equipment to developing African countries, which lack the facilities to manufacture their own.
The charity was founded two years ago by Tom Williams and Phil Tunstall. Tom was inspired to start the charity after staying with a family in Gambia whose father had lost a leg due to diabetes.
Tom said: “Diabetes is one of the main causes of amputations in Africa and I could see how his loss of mobility had a profound effect on the whole family.
“I took some basic measurements and when I got back to the UK, I had a prosthetic leg built and sent it back to him.”
Tom’s story was picked up the media and, as a result of the ensuing publicity, people began sending him their unwanted prosthetic legs in the post.
The charity has now shipped more than 3,000 prosthetic legs to Africa and has its own shop called, Limbo on Bedminster Road.
Tom continued: “The consignment that includes the walking frames from St Monica Trust is very exciting for us as it’s the first time we’ve had enough mobility equipment to fill an entire shipping container by ourselves.”
“Previously we’ve shared container space with other organisations and it’s a really positive indicator of how much the charity has grown.”
“The shipment will go to the mobility units at three Nigerian hospitals and the equipment will be distributed responsibly so that only those that need them most will receive them.”
Physiotherapist, Simon Jones has the following advice for any St Monica Trust residents or family members who have unwanted mobility equipment that they’d like to donate to Legs4Africa:
“In the first instance, we’d ask that they first check for a St Monica Trust label, which means the equipment should be returned to the Cote Lane physiotherapy department.”
“If the equipment doesn’t have a St Monica Trust label on it then it can be taken to the Legs4Africa shop during opening hours. As with today, Tom and Phil are also more than happy to come and collect if there’s more than just the odd walking frame or wheelchair.”
“This was the second collection Legs4Africa have made from the Trust. They’re doing something very worthwhile and we hope we can continue to support them in the future.”
For more information on how to donate, visit www.legs4africa.org or call them on 0116 318 0484.