AN uncle has stepped in to give others a chance to walk.
Paul Robson, 53, came to the aid of his nephews Chris and Andrew Ingram who are collecting redundant limbs as part of the Legs4Africa campaign, where they will be used to help amputees learn to be independent again.
Paul was allowed by his bosses at oil pipe supply firm IPB UK Ltd, in Washington, to finish his shift early and collect prosthetics from Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.
Paul, a father-of-two from Murton, said: “I think it’s a great idea and if someone can use them beyond here, great, and I was happy to go and pick them up.
“Both me and my wife are very supportive of what Andrew and Chris are doing.
Andrew collected the limbs, which has now been sent on to Africa.
Legislation prevents prosthetic limbs being reused within the European Union, which means they are usually scrapped as medical waste.
It is estimated that more than 5,000 prosthetic limbs are destroyed every year within the UK.
Chris, whose mum Kay Ridley is originally from Murton but lives outside the region, said: “We currently have a group of volunteers in Gambia who have delivered 500 prosthetics by van from Leicester and are in the process of arranging our next delivery.
“Following communication with the Freeman’s Hospitals Disablement Services Centre, I met with James Bridgewood of Op-Care, who supplied us with 20-plus prosthetics to go towards our next journey.
“This has now started a new chain of volunteering across Tyne and Wear.”
Since the organisation was started in 2011, it has sourced close to 200 limbs.
For more details on the campaign, log on to www.legs4africa.org.