Cefndy-Medequip equipment donation to Ukraine image

Cefndy-Medequip, the community equipment service (CES) provider for Gwent in southeast Wales, has helped with a local initiative to donate essential items to Ukraine, like clothes, food, medicine and medical equipment, by offering its fleet of vans and staff to help.

Cefndy-Medequip is a sheltered workshop in partnership between outsourced CES provider Medequip and Cefndy Healthcare, an arm of Denbighshire County Council. Together, they offer meaningful employment for disabled people.

The partnership says that one of the greatest challenges in getting donations to areas of need is the logistics element of the solution.

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This was the case in Newport, according to the equipment service, where a massive effort by community group The Women of Newport had resulted in the collection of many items, donated by the local NHS Trust for Ukrainian refugees.

This initiative was “so successful” that the group was forced to put a temporary stop on new items. The existing donations filled a three-floor hotel building, as well as retail units at Newport’s Friars Walk shopping centre.

The Women of Newport successfully sourced an HGV to take the donations to a refugee centre in Poland, but they needed to be sorted and moved from the existing locations to a storage facility accessible to the large vehicle.

Cefndy-Medequip helped by offering its staff and fleet of vehicles to assist with the donation project. Manager Ben Giddings made contact with the group to offer practical assistance.

“Our role is to provide equipment on loan to the people of Gwent to help them stay independent in their own homes for longer,” stated Ben. “Community engagement and co-production are vital aspects of the work we do. Our people wanted to make a real contribution to the great work being done by The Women of Newport, and we could do this by offering our people and our fleet of vehicles.”

Vans from Cefndy-Medequip staffed by volunteers began by removing the stock from the shopping centre, ferrying both palletised goods and loose items to the company’s depot on the Felnex Industrial Estate. The team was able to unload goods in a canopied area, which could easily be accessed by the HGV.

Volunteers from Cefndy-Medequip then worked to palletise the loose items ready for transportation to Poland, loading the finished pallets onto the vehicle in preparation for the journey. The vans, drivers and volunteers also worked to move more goods from the Westgate Hotel to a more appropriate location for sorting and shipping.

“It was a massive team effort, with Cefndy-Medequip staff pitching in all weekend and evenings as well as during working hours to help clear the backlog,” explained Ben. “The shipment is now on its way to Poland, and we’re very proud to have been able to play a part in the project. We’re looking forward to continuing our involvement in the near future!”

Louise Ferris, Gwent Wide Integrated Community Equipment Service (GWICES) Advanced Occupational Therapy Practitioner and Andrea Holcombe, Gwent Wide Integrated Community Equipment Service (GWICES) Accountant & Performance Lead, both added: “The Gwent Wide Integrated Equipment Service who commission Cefndy-Medequip were impressed by the efforts made by the organisation in response to the need for logistics support for the Women of Newport group.

“It was great to see such a big effort made by the staff at the depot towards such an urgent need.  We hope that this will continue to be supported for much needed supplies to reach Ukrainian refugees.”

Medeqiup joins another outsourced equipment service provider, NRS Healthcare, in donating vital equipment to aid Ukraine. NRS Healthcare recently donated vital mobility products like walking frames and crutches, alongside personal care items, to support people in Ukraine affected by the ongoing crisis. The donations were sent to Lviv, a city not far from the Polish border in Western Ukraine.

Global medical products manufacturer and distributor Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare also recently donated some vital healthcare products to Ukraine. It worked with mattress manufacturer GNG Group to donate hospital beds and mattresses via the charity MEDAID-4KIDS to support victims of war in Ukraine.

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