Helipads for Hospitals is a UK charity founded by former RAF and Air Ambulance
helicopter pilot John Nowell. The aim is to collect about one million drinks cans to
build a helipad on site at hospitals. The first priority is Leicester Royal Infi rmary,
where air ambulance helicopters currently have to land on Nelson Mandela Park so
the patients — often critically ill — have to be transferred to road ambulances and driven
to the Accident and Emergency Department, about ¾ of a mile away.
Cans are collected in various ways but the charity is trying to get as many can banks into communities to boost donations. The can banks, known as ‘Big Red Bins’, cost approximately £600 to build and install. Various Rotary Clubs are supporting the charity by collecting cans or donating funds or providing a matching grant so that for every £300 they raise or receive in donations, they can get a further £300, effectively halving the price have also set up a matching grant scheme.
After reading about the charity and what it was trying to achieve, an appeal was put on village social media to raise awareness. Within a couple of hours a local anonymous donor had offered £600 for Barrow Footpaths Group to sponsor the bin and therefore allow Barrow to have its own can bank. The charity was contacted and things began to move very quickly.
Within a matter of days the community of Barrow came together to support this great cause and the can bank was delivered on 7th August. Barrow Conservative Club donated a one tonne bag of cans straight away and other pubs such as Soar Bridge Inn, Hunting Lodge and The Moorings and sports clubs, including Barrow Cricket Club, have said they will start to donate as soon as they reopen.
This is can bank number 8 for the charity. Shepshed has a can bank already and Belton is hoping to get one soon.
The local Co-op has offered use of its car park for the can bank to be positioned centrally in the village. There is already a Salvation Army clothing and shoes recycling bank in the car park. The Co-op have a number of other recycling bins in store, all managed by them, which are sent off to Terracycle to be recycled. The bins include:
- Home Care packaging - which can include spray trigger heads, soap pumps, empty air fresheners, wet wipes packets, washing up liquid lids
- Ellacycle - which can take any brand of baby food pouch, and baby snack foods packaging
- McVitie’s - which can take any brand of biscuit and cake wrapper packaging
- Crisp packets - all brands of crisp packets can be donated
The Big Red Bin with Helipads for Hospital founder John Nowell standing next to it, alongside members of the Barrow Footpaths Group and a member of staff from the Co-op.