On Monday we welcomed David Kaye a Rotarian from the Rotary Club of Knaresborough and chairman of the charity PhysioNet to Sand Moor. PhysioNet are involved in collecting and distributing wheelchairs, mobility equipment, special seating for disabled children and adults which is shipped to over 25 countries worldwide. David gave an inspirational talk about the Yorkshire based charity organization illustrating what can be achieved when Rotarians and other partner organizations and individuals come together to make good things happen!!
The charity grew from humble beginnings in 2005 when Peter Thompson, the founder of PhysioNet, started taking lorry loads full of equipment to war torn Bosnia. Used equipment is sourced in bulk from the NHS, Social Services and other donors and renovated partly by prisoners at Garth prison, through the Margaret Carey Foundation. The inmates find satisfaction and pride by renovating the upholstery on arms and seats of worn equipment and by replacing damaged wheels. Because of this they will also go the extra mile to decorate children's wheelchairs with 'go faster' stripes and stick on cartoon figures.
Refurbished equipment is stored in a number of different depots (empty barns) across the UK. Distribution of the equipment takes place from the headquarters in North Yorkshire where it is packed up into a big 40ft container lorry ready for shipping abroad.
If the equipment was new then each load would have an estimated value of £150,000!
PhysioNet have a number of costs which include the hire and fueling of vehicles to transport the equipment in UK. Shrink wrap packing that protects the equipment, publicity leaflets and newsletters are a smaller but not insignificant expenditure. The Rotary Club of Saffron Waldron owns its own van which is used as part of the PhysioNet project.
Physios and other partners request specific equipment for a particular place and local partners abroad pay for shipping costs, customs clearance and local distribution.
David explained how PhisioNet had made a difference in Fiji. A 9 year old girl who had previously only been able to crawl was able to use a special seating wheelchair. This enabled her greater mobility, protected her body shape and reduced the chance of further disability.
John Tempest thanked David Kaye for an inspiring illustrated talk.