MCF is a small charity of six, part-time staff. Yet we have more than a dozen projects covering a large area of northern England and the Midlands. How do we do it? With a network of strong partnerships supporting everything we do. We’d like to introduce you to just a few of the organisations which support us with collecting recycled bikes or donating refurbished ones, and explain how we’re maximising our impact by working together.
PhysioNet is a charity based in Yorkshire, set up in 2005 to provide physiotherapy equipment to disabled children and adults in Eastern & Central Europe and in developing countries around the world. They are completely volunteer-run, with no paid staff. They send four to six containers overseas each year, funded by individual donations and small grants. Physionet also organise responsive donations, such as to the Spinal Injuries Assocation for delivery to Fiji in the aftermath of the 2016 cyclone.
PhysioNet collect donated physio equipment, including wheelchairs, from all over the country, but some of them need repairs before they can safely be reused by people in need. That’s where MCF comes in: any wheelchairs that need refurbishing or repair go to our expert workshop at HMP Garth before going back to PhysioNet and being loaded onto the containers.
The equipment helps children and adults far and wide achieve a quality of life not previously accessible to them, with equipment which would otherwise have ended up in the UK waste system. This year, PhysioNet sent containers to Ukraine, Fiji, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Romania and Bulgaria . Physionet is run by volunteers who have relevant expert knowledge, and partnes with charities in the host country, to ensure the right equipment goes to those most in need. One such example is Malamulele, a charity working with children with Cerebral Palsy in disadvantaged areas of Southern Africa which regularly receives items of physiotherapy equipment and wheelchairs in Saxonwold, Johannesburg, South Africa.
The chief executive of PhysioNet is David Kaye. For more information about Physionet, visit their website www.physionet.org.uk