Phoenix Project image

An impactful project that is bringing hundreds of thousands of pounds of mobility equipment to some of the world’s neediest has recently delivered £350,000 worth of aids to a children’s cancer hospital in Cairo.

Set up by Warrington Disability Partnership, the Phoenix Project has seen a number of companies in the industry including NRS, Medequip and Ross Care donate equipment that is no longer suitable for the UK but can still change the lives of those in desperate need overseas.

“In some instances, we’ve been able to find items that we can resalvage, reclaim and resell in this country, so it’s not just going abroad.” Dave Thompson MBE DL MBA

Recycling old and second-hand mobility equipment, the charity, working in partnership with St Mark’s Universal Copts Care, sends it abroad to destinations such as Syria, Greece and Thailand.

Sent towards the end of May, the Project’s shipment was the largest yet, with the mobility aids valued at £350,000 if bought new.

Dave Thompson, Founder and Chief Executive of Warrington Disability Partnership, told THIIS: “The Phoenix Project has really grabbed people’s attention because we’re providing people with an alternative to simply scrapping and putting things into landfill.

“The big thing for me is, for many, many years I’ve seen this situation growing and I was concerned about what was happening with the world of disability.

“If you buy a car, you wouldn’t expect to drive it to a car dealership and be told ‘well we don’t do second hand cars, so scrap it.’ I think what certain parts of the trade wanted was to not generate a second-hand sales side to mobility equipment or even a reuse side to it.

And that’s what we’ve done, we’ve actually found the market in that.”

Dave also commented that making the Phoenix Project work has been a team effort, with the publishing industry, trade and charities getting on board with it.

“The good news for us is that it’s also providing meaningful employments and daytime activities as we’ve got staff and volunteers who are employed in the project,” Dave continued.

“In some instances, we’ve been able to find items that we can resalvage, reclaim and resell in this country, so it’s not just going abroad.”

The shipment was sent to Cairo’s 57357 hospital, a specialist children’s cancer facility.

Just finishing its 11th shipment, the Project has also received enquiries from Uganda, Zimbabwe and Pakistan.

Volunteers from the Warrington and Birchwood Lions groups and the Warrington Rotary Club helped to load the lorry with equipment.

Mehdat Boutros, from St Mark’s Universal Copts Care, told the Warrington Guardian: “The hospital is very popular, not just in Egypt but across the Arabic world. It was formed and is still being run based on donations.

“This equipment will give these children dignity instead of having to be carried by their relatives. It will give them something to help them feel independent.

“Otherwise, if they do not come from a family that can afford it, they will just have to go without.

“The environmental impact that this has in the UK is also fantastic, because otherwise all of this equipment would have ended up in a skip.”

Established in 1991, Warrington Disability Partnership is a user-led charity which aims to support people with disabilities or long-term health conditions.

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