Big-hearted members of the Mexborough Inner Wheel Club celebrated their 90th anniversary by fundraising for and donating a wheelchair for patients of the Fred and Ann Green Rehabilitation Centre at Montagu Hospital in Mexborough.
The donation by members of Mexborough Inner Wheel Club is particularly poignant because Ann Green was not only one of the founders of the local branch – she was also its president from 1953-4 and remained an active member until her death in 1979.
Inner Wheel Great Britain and Ireland was founded in Manchester by the wives of men who were members of the rotary club and held its first meeting on 10 January 1924.
Its original aims were to promote friendship between women married to rotarians and to encourage and facilitate their involvement in serving others less fortunate than themselves.
It retains the same core values of friendship and service today and the local branch was keen to celebrate Inner Wheel’s 90th anniversary by fundraising for something that would benefit patients in the new Fred and Ann Green Rehabilitation Centre.
The £350 wheelchair will be used in various ways to benefit patients whose mobility has been affected by stroke, serious fractures, amputation or other illnesses and injuries. As well as being used to move people between different areas in the centre, it will also be available for relatives and carers to practise using it on different surfaces before a patient leaves hospital.
Inner Wheel has a long history of fundraising for hospital patients in Mexborough, both directly and through another voluntary organisation, the Montagu Hospital Comforts Fund. Other significant donations include £1,050 for the Aurora Centre in 2008, which at that time was run by the hospital trust, and £2,570 in 1997 towards an ophthalmic laser for eye patients.
Karen Durrant, rehabilitation manager, said: “We’re so grateful to the members of Inner Wheel for this fantastic donation, which will be very much valued by patients and their relatives and carers. Many of our patients are coming to terms with reduced mobility and need a wheelchair some or all of the time. This particular wheelchair, an attendant-pushed model, will be used by hospital staff and relatives and carers when patients are moving from one area to another.”
Barbara Lord, ex-president of Mexborough Inner Wheel Club, said: “As Inner Wheel, globally, celebrates its 90th birthday, presenting a wheelchair to the new rehabilitation unit, which was named after and partly funded by Fred and Ann Green’s legacy, is also a way of remembering Ann for her work for Inner Wheel during her 33 years as a member.”
Patient Wendy Makepeace, of Burghwallis, has been in the rehabilitation centre for over three weeks after breaking her leg after a fall whilst on holiday in Benidorm in November.
The 80-year old said: “I’m very pleased that this wheelchair will be helping people like me for years to come. It is nice to know that people like those of Inner Wheel are so keen to help others, they have done a marvellous job.
“I also want to thank the staff at the rehab centre for how they have looked after me. I have never been so well looked after and never been in a hospital as good as this one.”