People are being urged to support a fundraising event to help spinal patients in Southport which was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The 20-mile Southport to Liverpool Walk in aid of the North West Regional Spinal Injuries Centre in Southport will take place this Wednesday (September 16)

The walk is taking place because the Spinal Injuries Centre at Southport needs a new patient minibus. 

So far over 200 people have donated money to raise £13,880 of their £30,000 target, but they are asking local residents and businesses to dig deep and help their appeal. 

Taking part in the walk are: Craig Alty, Danielle Cannon, Daniella Nesovici, Phil Power, Rachel Power, Helen McKenna, Helen Gillan, Tanisha Ashcroft and Clare Hill. 

Organiser Craig Alty said: “I am a registered nurse at North West Regional Spinal Injuries Centre at Southport and Formby District General Hospital.

“Originally planned for 8th of May 2020, with a team effort of more than a dozen staff, we will be walking from the Spinal Centre based at Southport Hospital to Liverpool City Centre to raise money for a new wheelchair-adapted minibus for our patients.

“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 North West Regional Spinal Injuries Centre supports the rehabilitation of patients with specialised individual programmes designed to maximise the potential recovery of each patient.

“We enhance our patients’ care with a wheelchair-accessible minibus which, as well as providing practical help such as getting them to the dentist and eye tests, plays a vital role enabling us to take patients on day trips. 

“It also supports attending home visits with our Occupational Therapists, enables patients to participate in the annual Inter Spinal Games at Stoke Mandeville Stadium – this involves 14 Spinal Injury Centres nationwide, and enables patients to discover new hobbies post spinal cord injury – and returning home to see family and friends.

“Patients can be with us for many months, and any of the above may be a patients 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.” 

The appeal has become urgent because the previous vehicle is no longer fit for purpose. 

Criag said: “The current minibus has reached the end of its useful life, and has been decommissioned.

“At present the hospital’s budget does not see this minibus as a necessity to the running of our Spinal Injuries Centre.

“Therefore to continue to provide this much needed service, we need your help and generous support to replace it.

“Our walk will take us approximately seven to eight hours, walking through Birkdale, Formby, Crosby, Waterloo, Bootle, Everton, Liverpool city centre, finishing at the Albert Dock.

“Please please please, your donation is vital to us reaching our target, and more importantly, being able to bring back an important service that is vital to the success of rehabilitating our patients.”

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