A volunteer at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) in Stanmore is calling for more people to return their walking aids so that they can be reused by people in need.
Recently retired Michael Flatter started volunteering at the hospital nearly five years ago as he wanted to “give something back to the system”. Since then, he has helped in administration and the pharmacy department, taking medication to wards and patients, and has been involved in multiple fundraising projects.
Michael also helped to launch a new initiative in the summer of last year, calling for the recycling of crutches and walkers.
Since the launch of the scheme, Michael is now returning approximately 40 pairs of crutches and 12 walkers a month into the system, “saving the hospital and ultimately the NHS money”.
Michael said: “This is a relatively new incentive as very few charities will accept used crutches or walkers, so these items end up at the back of cupboards, attics or, worst of all, landfill!
“The RNOH decided to go into this scheme and I was in the right place at the right time, in that I was basically between volunteering jobs, and this really appealed to me as something really worthwhile.
“The response has been very good, but like everything, small acorns need time to grow.”
People are asked to leave their walking aids in the red bins at the main gate, the outpatient department, and The Stanmore building.