Medical items bound for Fiji

The loading of the container in Lower Dunsforth. (S)
The loading of the container in Lower Dunsforth. (S)

A shipping container bound for Fiji loaded with physiotherapy equipment, wheelchairs and mobility items for the disabled has left Lower Dunsforth.

The shipment of the 40ft container was organised by PhysioNet – the charity’s fifth consignment to Fiji since 2010.

All of the contents, if new, would be worth more than £1m, including a wheelchair which was the 1,100th to be sent to the Spinal Injuries Association for distribution to its members and to the national hospitals and special schools in the country.

The Mayors of Boroughbridge, Coun Graham Archer, and Knaresborough, Coun Carole Reid, handed over the symbollic wheelchair on behalf of the UK donors, which four young Fijians based at Queen Ethelburga’s College accepted and helped to load.

PhysioNet usually calls upon the help of half-a-dozen Fijian soldiers based at Catterick Garrison but as they were all on duty, the younger generation stood in for their fathers.

The consignment will load onto the container vessel Maersk Essen at Felixstowe on Saturday, May 24 and is scheduled to arrive in the Fijian capital Suva on Sunday, July 20.

The previous four consignments have received a high profile reception on arrival in Suva, with the British High Commissioner to Fiji formally handing over the load to the recipients – a ceremony well-covered by national television.