Lancashire wheelchair fund tops £15k target

Photo Neil Cross'Jackie Humpries and Alan Beauchamp of Westinghouse Springfields present the first of 10 new wheelchairs to Sarah Collins of British Red Cross in Fulwood, Preston

Photo Neil Cross'Jackie Humpries and Alan Beauchamp of Westinghouse Springfields present the first of 10 new wheelchairs to Sarah Collins of British Red Cross in Fulwood, Preston

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AN appeal to raise £15,000 to buy 100 new wheelchairs to help people in Lancashire has been smashed.

Last year the British Red Cross launched the Lancashire Wheelchair Appeal, to raise £15,000 to purchase 100 new wheelchairs for the county.

In recent weeks the target was exceeded by £446 and one significant donation has come from employees at the Westinghouse nuclear fuel manufacturing site at Springfields, near Preston who have helped to buy 10 wheelchairs for the British Red Cross centre in Fulwood, Preston.

The Springfields Employees Medical Research & Charity Trust Fund has donated £1,500 for the equipment.

Alison Whittaker-Stewart, British Red Cross Senior Community Fundraiser for Lancashire, said: “The British Red Cross has provided a Mobility Aids loan service in Lancashire for the past 15 years,”

“Unfortunately many of our wheelchairs are over ten years old and we desperately needed to replace them.”

During in 2014, the British Red Cross Mobility Aids Service in Lancashire loaned wheelchairs to 825 individuals and their families.

The Mobility Aids loan service provides short-term loans of wheelchairs for a number of reasons, usually because of poor mobility and health, often resulting from an accident or medical condition, such as following a stroke.

The service also loans wheelchairs to people for just a few days, particularly elderly people who may be attending and event, such as a wedding or funeral, and are unable to stand or walk for long periods of time.

The Red Cross starting providing the service for both injured servicemen and the general population following World War One.

It was an immediate success and by the time the NHS was established in 1948, the Red Cross was already the ‘go to’ organisation for wheelchair loans.

Ian Driver, secretary of the Springfields Employees Medical Research & Charity Trust Fund, said: “We were delighted to hear that the Red Cross recently met their target to fund 100 replacement wheelchairs.

“We are particularly pleased that we have been able to assist them in reaching their target and provide these ten new wheelchairs, which will help them continue to provide their invaluable service throughout Lancashire.”

The Springfields Employees Medical Research & Charity Trust Fund does not make cash donations, but purchases equipment for medical organisations and registered charities throughout the Springfields’ travel to work area.

If you would like to hire a wheelchair from the Red Cross, please call 01772 707300.