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Swish new wheelchairs arrive at Southend Hospital

17 May 2018


Southend Hospital’s A&E department has just taken delivery of some swish new wheelchairs – thanks in no small part to doughty fundraisers Maureen Townley and Linda Ansell.

The pair, who have raised more than £250,000 in 30 years of supporting the hospital, funded around £4,000 to buy three of the new chairs (including three extra-wide ones) to make the experience of poorly patients coming in for treatment just that bit easier.

"It's not nice to come into hospital and not have a wheelchair if you need it, so we were happy to help out," explains Linda.

The rest of the money, around £12,000, came from the hospital's For Wards Appeal, which is raising money for wards and departments around the hospital.

The wheelchairs are coin-operated and work like supermarket trolleys. Sited at the entrance to A&E, they will be a boon to patients and to ambulance staff.

Maureen and Linda, both from Thorpe Bay, raise thousands of pounds a year through the sale of bric-a-brac, craft items and books from the fundraising unit within the hospital's main outpatient department and at various craft fairs.

Previous the pair supported our dementia appeal and are now raising money for the paediatric department.

"The wheelchairs will make a huge difference to patients and staff," says Jenny Frost," associate director and lead nurse for A&E. "They also allow more dignity and comfort to patients.

"The ready availability means we can handover patient care from the ambulance crews to A&E more efficiently, therefore releasing ambulance crews back out onto the road."