STAFF from the North West Regional Spinal Injuries Centre in Southport are to take on a sponsored trek to the Albert Dock in Liverpool to raise £30,000 for a new wheelchair-adapted minibus for patients.
Organiser Craig Alty, 42, who works as a staff nurse for the spinal unit, will lead the challenge on Wednesday, September 16 .
The 12-strong team have already raised £11,570 on their Just Giving page, named ‘Southport to Liverpool Walk in aid of NW Regional Spinal Injuries Centre.’
It will take around seven-eight hours, via Birkdale, Formby, Crosby, Waterloo, Bootle, Everton, and Liverpool city centre, finishing at the Albert Dock.
They want to purchase a new minibus as the current one has been decommissioned and there are no funds currently set aside to replace it.
As well as the Just Giving page, they are also holding auctions and raffles on their page ‘North West Regional Spinal Injuries Centre fundraising’ on social media site Facebook.
Craig said: “The new wheelchair accessible minibus will enhance the rehabilitation programme of our spinal patients. Many of our patients are inpatients for months on end, and the minibus will help them make the transition of coping and learning new wheelchair skills in the community. The minibus we want is a 17-seater, converted to house four wheelchairs and seating.
“Specialist rehabilitation healthcare for patients with spinal cord injury started at the former Promenade hospital in Southport in 1947, moving to our purpose-built, 43-bed centre at Southport hospital in 1991. We admit patients from across the North West, North Wales and the Isle of Man and have an international recognition for specialist treatment for patients needing mechanical ventilation.
“The NW Regional Spinal Injuries Centre supports the rehabilitation of patients with specialised individual programmes designed to maximise the potential recovery of each patient.
“As well as providing practical help such as getting them to the dentist and eye tests, the mini-bus plays a vital role taking patients on day trips, attending home visits with our occupational therapists, and enabling patients to participate in the annual Inter Spinal Games at Stoke Mandeville Stadium.
“Patients can be with us for many months, and any of the above may be a patient’s first experience outside a hospital environment since their spinal injury, so this is especially important to their well-being as it helps each patient to reintegrate with society - and also have the confidence to do so.
“To continue to provide this much needed service, we need your help and generous support to replace it.”
l To sponsor the team, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/ southportspinalunit