Primary schools across Carmarthenshire, the local hospital, local businesses and friends help Ian to collect over five tonnes of milk bottle tops.
Two wheelchairs were donated in 2019 and a further five wheelchairs in December 2021 to the Occupational Therapy Unit at the Priory Day Unit, Glangwili Hospital, thanks to Ian Williams who collected plastic milk bottle tops to raise funds.
Ian, of Talog, collected over five tonnes of plastic milk bottle tops which he sold to a local businessman, raising the money needed to buy the new wheelchairs.
Ian said: “Years ago I heard of a scheme that exchanged plastic milk bottle tops for wheelchairs. It prompted me to start collecting from various sources, mainly friends to start with, but the news reached several areas and it finished off by collecting from nearly all primary schools in Carmarthenshire, the local hospital, the nearby coffee shops, even some hairdressers, but mainly from good friends who supported the scheme from the start.
“Pre-COVID, two wheelchairs were presented to the Occupational Therapy department of Glangwili General Hospital in Carmarthen. The wheelchairs had a logo of an anvil on both sides which were shown to the primary school pupils. The logo is a symbol of the smithy that I own in the village of Talog. This was the sign for the school children to look out for when seeing any wheelchairs.
“Unfortunately, the scheme finished and I was left with approximately five to six tonnes of tops. After a while the bags containing the tops started to disintegrate with the sunlight and the tops were being blown with the wind. Luckily a local businessman offered to purchase the tops and arranged for his workforce to re-bag the tops, and from the money raised a further five wheelchairs were purchased again showing the anvil logo.
“These new wheelchairs were presented to Hywel Dda Health Charities just before Christmas 2021.”
Carol Anne Davies, Occupational Therapy Service Lead at Hywel Dda Health Board, said: “These chairs will have a great impact on our patients; their use in rehabilitation and in increasing a patient’s independence will improve individuals’ quality of life enormously and will allow them to do what is important to them.”