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New scheme launched to recycle walking aids at Velindre Cancer Centre

A group of people are stood next to the recycling shed.

19 April 2024

A new scheme has been launched by Velindre Cancer Centre to recycle hundreds of walking aids a year.

There are over 1.5 million people in the population supported by Velindre Cancer Centre and it welcomed 9,000 new patient referrals through its doors in 2023.

Many of these patients need walking aids – such as walking sticks, crutches and Zimmer frames – during different times of their cancer journey.

The new scheme aims to recycle as many walking aids as possible. It’s calling on patients and their loved ones to return the walking aids they no longer need so they can be refurbished for future patients.

Helena Goode, a Specialist Physiotherapist in the Therapies Department, said:

“As physiotherapists, we provide patients with walking aids like Zimmer frames, sticks and crutches to help them with their walking, promote independence and offer pain relief. Sometimes patients no longer need the walking aid but it is still in a usable condition and so we have started a scheme to reuse them.

"The therapies team want to promote sustainability within their everyday practice. If an item can be reused then we should find a way to do this instead of it adding to landfill. If we can reuse the item we don’t need to have another one made, reducing the emissions associated with that production.

"We are very grateful to our community partners Walters UK and Lisvane Men’s Shed who have come together to make a shed for patients to drop off the walking aids they no longer need and they don’t even have to enter a clinical area. We’re delighted to see it installed and welcome everyone to visit and return their items.”

Physiotherapist Helena Goode and Chair Donna Mead are smiling next to the recycling shed.

Not only will the scheme help to save costs and protect resources, it will also help to reduce waste by preventing walking aids being disposed of in landfill. Reusing a walking aid is on average 98% lower in carbon emissions than ordering new.

The shed, named ‘Y Sied,’ is located at the rear of the radiotherapy car park and it was unveiled at a ribboned event yesterday. The service is only for walking aids that were previously issued by Velindre Cancer Centre.

Walters UK, a partner in the enabling works for the new Velindre Cancer Centre, donated the materials used to build the shed the Men’s Sheds community group.

The Men’s Sheds group is based is Lisvane, Cardiff and provides a place for connection, conversation and creation. Members of the group worked on building the shed to unique specifications outlined by Velindre Cancer Centre’s Therapies Department.

Velindre University NHS Trust, Unit 2,Charnwood Court, Parc Nantgarw, Nantgarw, Cardiff, CF15 7QZ
Tel: 029 2019 6161