Pembrokeshire group sending wheelchairs abroad struggling to keep up with demand

Clynfyw Care Farm in Pembrokeshire helps people with learning disabilities and mental health issues, but has also been sending items to Syria, Kenya and South Africa since 2013.

They collect them from hospitals, care homes and rubbish tips.

So far, 11 shipping containers have been sent to various projects abroad.

The Wheelie Good Idea scheme saw its first container leave Pembrokeshire in 2013 for a project in South Africa helping 40,000 orphans who lost their parents to Aids.

But Jim Bowen, who manages the care farm, said the group needed help.

“We rely on donations – from people whose granny has just died, to hospitals and care homes – thousands of items that would otherwise be scrapped,” he said.

“We’ve sent containers to South Africa, Syria and Kenya. In fact, we can’t keep up with demand and we can’t handle the supply.

“There’s so much stuff coming in – we’d love it if other groups wanted to start up.”

Hywel Davies, a resident at Clynfyw Care Farm, travelled to South Africa to visit a project

Mr Bowen described it as a “win-win situation” as hospitals are able to reduce their carbon footprint by making sure the items do not end up in landfill.

Some of the residents at Clynfyw have also had the chance to visit a project in South Africa which has benefited from their donations.

Hywel Davies visited the Grace Church project in Durban last month. He learnt to read and write by cataloguing the items going into the containers at home in Wales.

It was a life-changing trip according to Michael Jones, a support worker at Clynfyw, who travelled with Mr Davies.

“You see the light in people’s eyes when they experience giving donations to people who really need them,” he said.

A container full of equipment has been transported overseas

“It’s the same with the refugees – people who are lost suddenly having something to grasp onto. They can see generosity from people rather than war.”

The project also supports refugees in Syria, Yemen and Gaza, working with Swansea Humanitarian Aid Response Project (Sharp).

The next container is ready to leave Clynfyw – this time to to Kerala in India.

Mr Bowen added: “We want to make our communities better and develop a whole regenerative culture – helping people here and further afield.”

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