Lions run mobility aids service

PUBLISHED: 12:27 04 September 2008 | UPDATED: 14:08 10 May 2010

Saffron Walden Lions' Appliance Loan Service.
Saffron Walden.
August 26, 2008.
Photograph by Michael Boyton.
Pic shows: John and Rod with some of the appliances that are available for loan.
Names (L-R): John Martin (equipment co-ordinator for Saffron Walden Lions Club Appliance Loan Service); Rod Bird (president, Saffron Walden Lions Club).

Saffron Walden Lions' Appliance Loan Service. Saffron Walden. August 26, 2008. Photograph by Michael Boyton. Pic shows: John and Rod with some of the appliances that are available for loan. Names (L-R): John Martin (equipment co-ordinator for Saffron Walden Lions Club Appliance Loan Service); Rod Bird (president, Saffron Walden Lions Club).

AN ORGANISATION that is continuing the work of a recently closed charity has expanded its service to cover the whole of Uttlesford. The Lions Club of Saffron Walden now operates the service which lends wheelchairs, walking aids and other equipment to h

AN ORGANISATION that is continuing the work of a recently closed charity has expanded its service to cover the whole of Uttlesford.

The Lions Club of Saffron Walden now operates the service which lends wheelchairs, walking aids and other equipment to help people recover from accidents and illness.

Lions Club president Rod Bird said: "This is a very valuable resource for the community and we are often the first port of call for people who have recently come out of hospital and need mobility aids or specialist equipment.

"When the service was first established it could only cover Saffron Walden, but we have now extended and upgraded our range of equipment so we can help people all over Uttlesford."

The equipment loan service was originally set up by the Saffron Walden & District Charitable Welfare Association, a charity that has been active in the town since 1947. The association was officially wound up on August 5, but the Lions have kept this important service in operation.

"We took on a community service which was already well-established thanks to the hard work of the association," said Mr Bird.

"The Lions Club was initially contacted by association chairman Joy Turnbull who founded the service with her husband Jack. They used their garage at home to store a range of equipment that was available for short-term loan."

Since taking over the service the equipment has been moved to a new store provided by the West Essex Primary Care Trust and located behind Saffron Walden Community Hospital on Radwinter Road.

People can borrow a range of equipment from walking frames and wheelchairs to commodes and toilet seat raisers for a period of up to two months. There is no cost for the service, but people can make a donation at the end of the loan.

"We are busy, but we could always be busier," said Mr Bird. "Currently we lend between 10 and 12 pieces of equipment each week and people are referred to us through GP clinics and Addenbrooke's Hospital.

"Equipment such as wheelchairs can be very expensive so it is a real benefit if people can borrow it.

"Usually people are happy to make a donation and the money is used to buy newer equipment and support our other charitable work."

If you would like to borrow some equipment or find out more information about the service, call 07761 602678.

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