City wheels out generosity to help volunteers after wheelchair theft from hospital

Generous Orange people have opened their hearts and wallets to help out a volunteer group upset after one of its wheelchairs was stolen from Orange hospital.

HAPPY DAYS: Orange Health Service Wayfinders Leanne Boss, Leeanne Wright - Orange Health Service and Gary Scovell are thrilled by the community's generosity. Photo: JUDE KEOGH.0112jkwayfind3

HAPPY DAYS: Orange Health Service Wayfinders Leanne Boss, Leeanne Wright - Orange Health Service and Gary Scovell are thrilled by the community's generosity. Photo: JUDE KEOGH.0112jkwayfind3

It was a wonderful offer to us. It will certainly be put to good use.

Gary Scovell, Wayfinders

Wayfinders co-ordinator Gary Scovell said he was overwhelmed by offers of support from people after the Central Western Dailyrevealed last Saturday the theft of a $500 wheelchair donated to them in memory of a member’s wife.

When Leanne Boss saw the story she contacted Mr Scovell to offer him an unused wheelchair which was handed over to the Wayfinders on Friday.

Mrs Boss said she bought the wheelchair for her mother 18 months ago.

“My mum died at the end of October 2017,” she said.

“We got the wheelchair about 18 months ago but she hadn’t been well enough for us to take her anywhere in it.

“It’s two years old and never been used.

“When I saw that in the paper the other day I gave Gary a call.

“It [the theft] is the lowest, it really upset me when I read that. It’s bad.”

Mr Scovell said Wayfinders were delighted by Mrs Boss’s offer.

“I just told her it was a wonderful offer to us,” he said.

“It will certainly be put to good use.”

He said other people had offered to give the Wayfinders money to buy new wheelchairs.

“It is absolutely amazing,” he said.

“People I have seen around town said, ‘If you are ever stuck give me a call’.

“I was contacted by Bernie Stedman with an offer to buy us two new wheelchairs.”

He said Mr Stedman wanted to give something back after he had been happy with his treatment at the hospital last year.

Mr Scovell said they did not need too many wheelchairs to keep track of, but told Mr Stedman he would take up his offer if needed in the future.

Wayfinders plans to increase its monitoring of wheelchairs at the hospital to stop more thefts.

Mr Scovell said they would be numbering the chairs and keeping track of who borrowed them.

He said the new chair would be given a two metre orange flag like the others so it could be spotted around the hospital and in the car park.

Mr Scovell said the chairs would all have a sticker explaining they were owned by the volunteer group.

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