A massive empty container lorry pulled into the car park of the Young Farmers HQ in Cheriton Bishop on Saturday morning.
The area was used to load the tons of unwanted NHS equipment, which would then be transported to Kwazulu Natal in South Africa where rotary clubs there would give the equipment to different medical organisations. Harry Franks, the SW Organiser for PhysioNet, a charity that helps disabled people overseas, had called The Moorlander a few days before to tell us that he was getting help from members of the local Young Farmers and Dartmouth Rotary Club to help load the container.
Harry was aware of The Moorlander’s interest in the subject following our campaign almost two years ago. A small van then shuttled back and forth picking up the unwanted equipment including hospital beds, wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, and mattresses from a warehouse in Upperton a few miles away that was not accessible to the lorry.
The medical equipment comes from sources across the South West. The team at the warehouse loaded the van and at the YFA carpark another team loaded the container lorry. Sarah Piercy, the winner of the wheelchair London Marathon in 2000, came along to give her support.
This is the first time a large container lorry has left Devon with so much unwanted equipment.
PhysioNet distributes unwanted NHS equipment, sending out a container a month to 30 countries worldwide including war-torn Syria.