AS the annual big Spring clean approaches, SEQOL is urging patients to return medical equipment borrowed from the social enterprise over the past year so others recovering from an injury or living with disabilities will benefit.

SEQOL Community Equipment Services is challenging residents to return any pieces of equipment they no longer use or need by March 20, the first day of Spring.

Every year the organisation delivers around 19,500 appliances including hoists, bath lifts, electric riser recliner armchairs, mattresses and wheelchairs to between 7,500 and 9,000 service users.

This year 14,500 pieces of equipment have been returned so far, and although many are still being used by patients, hundreds are believed to have been forgotten about when they could benefit other residents across Swindon.

Simon Billingham, who manages SEQOL’s community equipment services and the wheelchair and special seating service, said: “When people have had an episode of care in hospital, or need support to remain independent, they may need equipment such as toilet aids or perching stools or crutches.

“When that equipment is no longer being used, we understand that it’s very easy for it to be put away and forgotten. But what a lot of people don’t realise is that SEQOL can put much of the equipment through our stringent quality control process and re-issue it to other people who now need it.”

He added: “But we know that some people forget to bring them back, while others perhaps aren’t aware that they need to be returned.

“So we are appealing to the people of Swindon to help us replenish our stocks to make sure that we can continue to provide equipment for those who really need it at the lowest cost possible.”

SEQOL Community Equipment Service’s items are all labelled, and can be returned to SEQOL Community Equipment Service, Enterprise Works, Gypsy Lane, Swindon SN2 8DT between 9am and 3.30pm from Monday to Friday.

People can drop the equipment off without giving their names if they choose, but those who do give their names can have them cleared from the records. There is no fee or fine payable on return of the equipment.

People who are unable to return any items themselves can call 01793 464777 to arrange collection or 03033 331460 to arrange for pick-up of wheelchairs.