THE Red Cross is making a desperate appeal for people to return borrowed wheelchairs.
The charity’s medical equipment centre, based in Anchorage Park in Portsmouth, loans wheelchairs to people for a three-month period.
But many do not return the wheelchairs and the problem has now hit crisis levels as the charity has completely run out of chairs to offer out.
Volunteers at the centre are now having to call round people who have borrowed wheelchairs and plead with them to bring them back.
Diana Sillence, a Red Cross volunteer, said: ‘This is a serious situation.
‘When people borrow wheelchairs they sign paperwork to say they’ll bring them back in three months, but they just aren’t being brought back.
‘It’s a shame because it means we haven’t got chairs to offer out to people who need them. And it’s sad when we have workmen coming in saying they’ve found some of our chairs at the dump.
‘We really are desperate at the moment because we have no wheelchairs to loan out at all, and so would just appeal to people to return the chairs if they have them. There will be no repercussions.’
Adults and children are referred to the Red Cross to get wheelchairs for a temporary period by their GP.
Anyone who has had a Red Cross wheelchair for more than three months is asked to contact the charity’s Portsmouth centre on (023) 9265 4341.