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Volunteers fund wheely good chairs

Dorinda and Ernie try out the new chairs

Wheelchairs funded by a hospital charity shop mean patients at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital will reach their destination in comfort.

The 50 wheelchairs are used by patients’ carers or hospital porters to help patients who have difficulty walking and getting around the hospital site.

The wheelchairs cost £30k, an amount raised entirely by the hospital charity shop. The funds were raised thanks to generous donations from the public, and the volunteers who give their time to organise and assist in the shop at RBH.

Dorinda Sheppard, volunteer coordinator at the shop, said: “This is a real achievement for the team who run the hospital charity shop. We have a core group who work many hours every week. It is wonderful to see the money that we have raised go to help patients directly, in assisting them in getting into the hospital and to the right department. Many patients are in pain or have difficulty walking and these chairs make their visit just a little easier at what can be a stressful time.“

Ian Barnett Potts, Portering Services Manager, said: “These are special portering wheelchairs and replace ones which had been in use for 15 years. They had clocked up some ten thousand miles in that time. The new chairs are very sturdy and hard wearing, patients will find them more comfortable, and the new design means they are easier to push.”

Hospital charity shop volunteers, Dorinda Sheppard, Chris Lowe and Ernie Dobson