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Norwich housing society donates mobility aids to developing countries

PUBLISHED: 17:45 03 July 2017 | UPDATED: 17:45 03 July 2017

David Potten of PhysioNet (centre) collecting redundant mobility equipment from Norwich Housing Society, helped by the Society’s Kelly Jackson and Mark Finch. Photo: Andy Newman

David Potten of PhysioNet (centre) collecting redundant mobility equipment from Norwich Housing Society, helped by the Society’s Kelly Jackson and Mark Finch. Photo: Andy Newman

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Disabled people across the developing world will become more mobile - thanks to a donation from a Norwich housing association.

Norwich Housing Society, a provider of affordable accommodation for elderly people, has donated a number of used wheelchairs, walking frames and mobility aids to charity.

PhysioNet is a charity which refurbishes and recycles mobility items and sends them to developing countries.

The association is urging other housing providers to donate any used and unwanted mobility aids to the charity.

“The NHS is unable to reuse wheelchairs, walking frames and other items, and this means that in many cases they end up being thrown into landfill,” said Mike Allen, chief executive of Norwich Housing Society.

“We had accumulated a quantity of these items, and were unwilling to throw them away, so when we heard of the work that PhysioNet does, we jumped at the chance to donate them and see them reused by people who really need them.

“It’s such a good idea – we hope that other housing providers will follow our lead and donate their unwanted mobility aids to the charity.”

PhysioNet cleans and refurbishes wheelchairs, crutches, walking frames and other mobility aids, and sends them to developing countries in Africa, Asia and eastern Europe to be used by both adults and children.

The charity works with HM Prison Service, with inmates in working to refurbish items. The charity sends equipment overseas once a month, and in June it received a Queens Award for Voluntary Service.

“We are very grateful to Norwich Housing Society for donating all these mobility aids,” said PhysioNet volunteer David Potten.

“We will be able to refurbish them and bring them back into use to help some of the most vulnerable people in some of the poorest parts of the world.

“We would love to hear from any other housing providers who have such equipment that they no longer need.”

Individuals or organisations with wheelchairs, walking frames, crutches and other mobility equipment that they no longer use and would like to donate can contact David Potten of PhysioNet on 01603 304216, or at davidpotten@compuserve.com.

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