SHARE
Supporting the cause . . . Senior physio assistant Adrienne Stevenson (left) and physiotherapy clinical leader Sharyn Heath with some of the 30 foldable walking frames that have been given to the Church of Tonga Timaru fundraiser. PHOTO: ALEXIA JOHNSTON

by Alexia Johnston

Timaru Hospital is lending a helping hand to the people of Tonga.

The hospital’s physiotherapy department has donated about 30 foldable walking frames to the Church of Tonga Timaru fundraising venture.

Items collected by members of the church will be placed in one of two 12m containers to be shipped to Tonga, after it was hit hard by Cyclone Gita in February.

Physiotherapy clinical leader Sharyn Heath said the frames were surplus to the hospital’s requirements.

The hospital replaces walking frames after about six years’ use.

A range of frames has been added to the shipment, including ones with seats, baskets and brakes.

“They all fold up, which will help them,” Mrs Heath said.

The walking frames were just some of the many items donated so far.

Fundraiser organiser Anna Leger said the response from the community had been great.

Some people who were moving house were among those who had given items that were surplus to their requirements.

“Our next project is to try to get canned food and water.”

While pick-up can be arranged, an event is being hosted at the Scouts Hall, on Otipua Rd, on May 26 from 9am, so people can drop items off.

It will also feature a fun family day, with activities including a cake stall and sausage sizzle.

Mrs Leger said the event would also give people a chance to see what had been donated already.

The containers will leave PrimePort Timaru for Tonga on June 11.