Award winning charity to fold

Bury Abbey Rotary are holding a Test the Town Quiz 'The Auction 'from left Mike Coleman, Eddie Crichton, Sue Long
Bury Abbey Rotary are holding a Test the Town Quiz 'The Auction 'from left Mike Coleman, Eddie Crichton, Sue Long
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An award-winning Bury St Edmunds charity, which has supplied hundreds of tons of life-saving medical equipment to developing countries, is being forced to fold.

Aid to Hospitals Worldwide (A2HW) is due to close next month with the loss of seven jobs after delivering vital decommissioned items to more than 50 countries over 10 years.

Bosses say the organisation’s demise is mainly due to hospitals conserving their equipment for longer and sending high end items for auction.

As a result the value of aid they were once able to recover to support projects abroad is now less viable set against rising shipping costs.

A recent appeal to fund a new warehouse also failed to hit its target.

Chief executive officer Mike Coleman said: “It is with real sadness that we have taken this decision. But no one - staff, volunteers or those who supported us - should lose sight of the health enhancing work A2HW has done over the last decade.

“It has literally been a lifeline to millions.”

The charity, based at West Suffolk Hospital’s old site, has recovered, refurbished and consigned more than 800 tons of medical equipment and sundries to 56 countries worldwide.

Items supplied include instruments for complex surgery, beds where patients slept on the floor as well as refurbished x-rays, scanners and incubators.

The charity has also given bikes for district nurses and mobility aids such as wheelchairs.

As part of its work, it has mentored and educated vulnerable adults, helped those with learning difficulties and welcomed students on work experience schemes.

More than 100 volunteers have given their time to the organisation, which has won a string of awards for community work, environmental and green issues.

It was awarded the British Chamber of Commerce UK accolade for Sustainability 2011.

Mr Coleman added: “A2HW acknowledges the huge debt it owes to West Suffolk Hospital for its help and support for the work,”