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Reused beds, cots and bedside tables are the right medicine for rural hospitals abroad

An international charity working to empower the poor by providing food, shelter, education and medical aid has distributed essential furniture among rural hospitals abroad with donations sourced from the Warp It community.

A range of birthing beds, cots, bedside cupboards, tables, and lockers that could no longer be used by NHS Trusts have been given to the Sylvia Lanka Foundation to reuse in rural hospitals in Sri Lanka. Many of the hospitals lack basic resources resulting in patients being forced to sit and sleep on the floor during their hospital visit.

The charity was founded in the wake of the 2004 south east Asia tsunami and helps marginalised communities and victims of natural disasters. It partnered with Warp It to secure and send a variety of donated hospital furniture, which would otherwise have gone to landfill, to improve the situation.


Reused beds, cots and bedside tables are the right medicine for rural hospitals abroad

Above: donated furniture from NHS Trusts 

President and founder Mr Vernon Udugampola’s humanitarian actions have not gone unnoticed. He was awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his gracious acts. Under the instruction of Mr Vernon Udugampola, Manjula Wickramaarachchi Head of Operations at the Foundation, approached Warp It after discovering the service online during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Manjula explained:

“For marginalised communities and victims of natural disasters access to basic healthcare is a big challenge and, without it, leads to disease and preventable deaths. At Sylvia Lanka Foundation we offer as much help as possible and just one of the ways we can do this is by organising donations so that hospitals get the necessary furniture and equipment to provide a decent level of care.

“The funds for hospitals in Sri Lanka are very limited and patients often end up on the floor during their stay at hospital so even a chair will make a big difference, especially for those with new-born babies, making their hospital experience more bearable and comfortable.”

Using the Warp It redistribution system, Manjula was able to secure a wide range of hospital bedside tables and lockers, from the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust alongside birthing beds and cots sourced from the NHS Lothian. Manjula commented:

“It is fantastic that medical furniture and equipment that no longer meets NHS standards, for a variety of reasons, yet is still functional and appropriate, can be rehomed where it is needed most. It is an absolute treasure and positively changes lives for patients in Sri Lanka.”

Reused beds

Above: NHS hospital beds and chairs ready to be transported to Sri Lanka

One of Warp It's goals since it was founded in 2011 has been to support charitable activities by matching unwanted items with charities and not-for-profit organisations and, to-date, has seen over £3.7 million worth of assets redistributed for good causes.

Manjula concluded: “We are very happy that we found Warp It and grateful for the donations we have received. It’s making a tangible and positive difference to disadvantaged communities and vulnerable people, often affected by natural disasters, whose access to basic healthcare is a huge challenge.

“We really need to save the planet as well so using these donations for such a crucial cause, instead of binning them, is the perfect solution. Thank you to Warp It for such a brilliant service, we are planning to continue to use this amazing service for as long as we can!”

Find out more about the Sylvia Lanka Foundation.

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Jennifer Clair Robson

Jennifer Clair Robson

Writing to make a difference because climate change, sustainability and the environment are issues close to my heart.


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