Rowans bed gets makeover ahead of Big Push challenge

READY Engineers from HMS Sultan are helping to get the bed ready for the Big Push
READY Engineers from HMS Sultan are helping to get the bed ready for the Big Push
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THEY’RE more used to repairing ships and getting them ready for military action.

But this team at HMS Sultan in Gosport were given quite a different vehicle to work on recently – a hospice bed.

Staff and volunteers at The Rowans Hospice called on the engineers to help convert a normal bed so it can be used in the Big Bed Push next month.

Teams from the hospice and community will be taking it in turns to push the bed from the hospice in Purbrook to Canoe Lake in Southsea. But in order to be sure it could last the journey they needed the help of the HMS Sultan team who made some modifications.

The engineers added handles to make pushing easier, and modified the wheels.

Ian Letts, the craft training officer in charge of the fabrication workshop at HMS Sultan, said: ‘The hospice needed the bed to be OK for road use so we had to make some modifications and make it easy to push. I designed it and then we worked on it as a team. Now it’s fit for the event – we’ve even tested it. We’ve been running round the road with it so we know it’ll be fine on the day.’

He added: ‘Normally we do repairs to ships so this was a different challenge We are all aware of the hospice and the work it does so we were pleased to help.’

The bed push will help raise money for the hospice’s Dorothy’s Dream Appeal – a £1m fundraising drive to fund a new service to support people who want to die in their own homes.

Lesley Woodcock, community fundraiser at the Rowans, said: ‘We’re extremely grateful to Ian and the team at HMS Sultan for converting the bed.

‘They’ve done a fantastic job of making it roadworthy and safer which will make it much easier for us to push it the 10 miles from the hospice to Southsea.’

The bed push will take place on Saturday, July 23, starting about 8am at the hospice, going through Cosham, North End, Commercial Road, the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, and finishing at Canoe Lake about 3pm. Donations will be collected along the way.

For information and to donate to Dorothy’s Dream call (023) 9223 8531, email, visit, or text Dream to 70800 to donate £5.