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Bold New Strides for Legs4Africa

Legs4Africa Announces A Transformative Rebranding: Evolving Together For A Greater Impact

“At the dawn of a new year, Legs4Africa, an organisation deeply rooted in supporting communities with prosthetic limbs, announces an exciting evolution. Since our establishment in 2013, Legs4Africa has grown from a simple yet passionate idea into a beacon of hope and empowerment. Today, we stand at a pivotal juncture, ready to embrace change and expand our horizons.

We’re embarking on a transformative journey, not just altering our name but redefining our identity to resonate more profoundly with our charitable ethos and the extensive impact of our work. While ‘Legs4Africa’ has been a name synonymous with forging incredible partnerships, building a robust community, and significantly impacting lives, our growth has led us to a point where our name no longer fully encapsulates the breadth of our mission.

Our efforts go beyond just providing prosthetic legs; they are about empowering individuals, nurturing communities, and driving sustainable change. Recognising that our impact, though not continent-wide, remains significant and far-reaching, we are moving towards a new name that reflects our comprehensive commitment to community support and individual empowerment.

In line with this change, Legs4Africa is also delving into important conversations about decolonising narratives within the charity sector. This discussion aims to foster a more inclusive, respectful, and accurately representative narrative of the communities we work with.

The new name, which is currently being developed, will symbolise our journey and commitment. It’s a representation of our dedication to not only providing physical aids but also fostering independence and empowerment in the communities we serve. This change is a step beyond our initial focus, honouring our past while boldly stepping into the future.

This rebranding is more than just a cosmetic change; it’s a reaffirmation of our pledge to make a real difference, aligning our name with our mission, vision, and the aspirations of those we assist.

We invite you to join us on this exhilarating journey. With a future full of possibilities, Legs4Africa is set to embark on this new chapter with the same determination and purpose that have always defined us.”

(Press Release)


Bold New Strides for Legs4Africa

I’m so in awe of what this amazing charity has achieved already. It refused to be bound by the red tape that governed the rehoming of prosthetic limbs and which was tragically responsible for prostheses, sometimes brand new, being sent to landfill. Legs4Africa found a way to collect prosthetic limbs and components and transport them to a part of the world where previously amputees would otherwise be likely to remain without limbs for life.

To have seen how Legs4Africa has grown and developed, while remaining true to their ethos over the past 10 years has been hugely inspiring and I can see why the time has come for them to move forward again.

I’m very excited to see where the next steps on the Legs4Africa journey will take them but have no doubt at all that the future is very bright for them, and the community they support.

We congratulate them on their achievements to date and wish them the very best of luck and success in their evolution.

Have a look at the inspiring video below for more information and keep checking in. There will be a lot of exciting news in the pipeline as we follow these bold new strides for Legs4Africa! You can learn more about the history of this charity by following the link to see previous posts about them on the DBF Website. We have been proud to cover their journey so far and can’t wait to see where it takes them now!

We Walk Together: The Next Stand for Legs4Africa


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An Ambulance for Legs4Africa

Tom Williams, founder of the wonderful Legs4Africa, has been in touch with some brilliant news. A life-changer for the charity. An ambulance for Legs4Africa!

Tom is currently without his own transport and this got him thinking about the people Legs4AFrica work with.

For many, having easy access to transport is a luxury they can’t afford. They rely heavily on the support of their communities or endure long, arduous journeys on public transport to reach the nearest rehabilitation centre. I can’t help but feel how fortunate I am in comparison. Tom Williams

Then, Doug and Rose Hamlen, who spearhead an organisation called Challenge 4000, stepped in with the incredibly generous donation of an ambulance to the Rehabilitation Centre in The Gambia. Rose, who has mobility issues herself, was moved to help people who also have difficulty walking.

I’ve got bad legs, and I want to help others who can’t walk as well as I can Rose Hamlen

An ambulance for Legs4Africa will revolutionise how services reach those in need. It will be set up and used as a mobile clinic so will be able to help individuals who live hundreds of kilometres from the main service areas in Banjul.

This isn’t just a vehicle; it’s a lifeline Tom Williams

Janob Jaab, the Director of Social Welfare, expressed immense gratitude, acknowledging the significant impact this will have on improving access to rehabilitation services, especially in rural areas. Many individuals in need of prosthetic limbs live far from urban centers, and this ambulance effectively bridges that gap.

Ambulance Mission in The Gambia – An ambulance for Legs4Africa Video Clip

You can watch the moving hand over of this wonderful gift of an ambulance for Legs4Africa by Doug and Rose Hamlen in a clip from Gambian TV by following the link at the bottom of this post.

Legs4AFrica is making giant strides. Please keep checking in for more heartwarming updates…


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Legs4Africa New Year Update

It’s always a treat to hear from Legs4Africa who are doing so much to change the lives of amputees in sub-Saharan Africa and here is the Legs4Africa New Year Update!

This amazing charity never rests on its laurels but is always looking to expand the help and support it offers and to widen the geographical areas it can reach with that support. It is always exciting and uplifting to hear of their new ventures.

Legs4Africa New Year Update

Hope this message finds you well as we step into another chapter of our journey! As we kick off 2024, I had a heartening update from our friends at ‘Karma on the Road‘. They’ve been on an exhilarating motorbike expedition, spanning Europe and Africa to reach Ghana, meeting our partners on the West Coast, and finally arriving at the Orthopaedic Training Centre, Nsawam, Ghana (see a few pics below).

Their expedition symbolises the transformative voyage our rescued prosthetics undertake, from their origins to the lives they touch.

Just as the arrival of a new year signifies a fresh start, their journey mirrored the potential for transformative change. It’s fascinating how the smallest moments; a journey, a sunrise, a shared conversation, can reinforce or reshape our perspective.

How does it resonate with your aspirations for change?

Sometimes, the most profound messages are woven into the tapestry of everyday experiences.

Wishing you a year filled with moments that inspire reflection and curiosity,

Warm regards,

Tom Williams OBE

Legs4Africa

Registered Charity Number 1158697

Legs4Africa New Year Update

Legs4Africa New Year Update

You can get more information about Legs4Africa’s achievements by following the link at the bottom of this page to previous posts on the DBF Website.

(There will be some more exciting news to follow too! Keep checking in…!)


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New Ambassador for Legs4Africa

 

Comedian Alex Brooker becomes Legs4Africa ambassador

Following his successful BBC Radio 4 Appeal on behalf of the organisation, comedian and TV personality Alex Brooker has joined Paralympian Julie Rogers as an ambassador for Bristol based charity Legs4Africa. Alex’s role will be to spread awareness and generate donations for children and adults facing limb-loss across sub-Saharan Africa.
Alex, who recently released the intimate and extremely personal documentary ‘Disability and Me’ said he “wanted to increase awareness of limb loss and the experiences of amputees, not just in the UK, but all over the world”.

In the UK, approximately 5,000 prosthetic legs end up in landfills every year.  Meanwhile, in Africa, 1.7 million amputees are in need of a limb to help them live independent lives. Legs4Africa is the charity aiming to change this imbalance. By recycling prosthetic legs and setting up amputee support groups, they are getting thousands of people in Africa back on their feet. Since 2014, they have sent enough parts to build or repair over 9,000 legs.

Evie Dickinson, from Legs4Africa, said: “It’s great to have someone like Alex on board – he’s been with us since the very start, donating a prosthetic leg to us in 2015, and ever since he muttered the words ‘avocado stones and crunched up beer cans’ without flinching in the BBC Radio 4 studio we knew he was the perfect match for the charity. He’s such a positive force, and it’s really important for people who have experienced limb loss to see people who look like them having a laugh, and living life to the fullest.

Caption: Alex Brooker donating his prosthetic leg in 2015.

Alex first connected with the charity in 2015 when he donated one of his old prosthetic legs. He has been following them ever since and earlier this year he helped to make their first ever BBC Radio 4 Appeal a huge success – raising enough money to get 1,206 prosthetic limbs out to amputees who need them across sub-Saharan Africa.

One amputee who received a prosthetic leg thanks to the work of Legs4Africa is Fatima. Her leg has allowed her to continue working in her shop, and she has recently set up a community support group for female amputees. Their motto is “no stress”. It seems Fatima’s main problem now is trying to get some peace and quiet, away from her excitable grandchildren.

Caption: “I sit in my shop. I laugh with people, I dance with people. But if I didn’t have a prosthetic leg I would still have people sat over me crying. I am so happy with my life” – Fatima, The Gambia

“Whenever I take my leg off the kids start playing with it, they think it’s a toy. I tip it and find so many things stored in there, even coins. Sometimes I am in my room not wanting to be disturbed but the children are running around and coming in and out. When they do this I take my leg off and wave my stump at them and then they run away scared and I am left in peace. It always works.”

Together, Alex and Legs4Africa hope to team up, spread the word and get thousands more people like Fatima dancing, laughing and back on their feet. 

Find out more about Legs4Africa: www.legs4africa.org
Legs4Africa’s BBC Radio 4 Appeal: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000fw1g

A great idea from Legs4Africa – Take a look at their fun Activity Book!

The charity that’s getting sub-Saharan Africa back on its feet

Here is a great idea from the wonderful charity, Legs4Africa. They’ve come up with an activity book for children who are still in lockdown or simply need something interesting and fun to do. They’ll learn a bit about Legs4Africa and the good things they get up to in the meantime too and see how it might feel to be one of the young amputees in Africa who get vital help and support from the charity.

Click on the cover or use the link below to open the Activity Book!

You can access the Activity Book by clicking on the link which will open as a pdf in a separate tab.

We recycle prosthetic legs that would otherwise end up in landfill and facilitate support groups so amputees in sub-Saharan Africa can live more independent, fulfilled lives.

Find out more by visiting the Legs4Africa website

Some fun stuff and some serious stuff from Legs4Africa

Hello from the sofa

from one of our favourite charities, Legs4Africa.

Legs4Africa have come up with some fun things to do while we’re all self-isolating at home. Check it out by following the link: Hello from the sofa

Sadly not in time for the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend but better late than never and perhaps it’s a good time to try some new challenges (albeit from the sofa!) after eating all that chocolate…I have to confess to having tried the snail game and also to being utterly hopeless at it. (Great sound effect though!) Give it a try – bet you can do better than I did.

Visit the Legs4Africa website to find out more about the great work this charity does for lower limb amputees and people with lower limb difference in Sub-Saharan Africa. I still find it shocking that if it wasn’t for them most of those prosthetic legs, many costing £thousands, would end up in landfill here…

They are always on the lookout for obsolete prosthetic legs so please contact them if you have one you don’t use that could change the life of someone living in Africa.

Legs4Africa Seek Prosthetic Legs

We love donations …. of your cast off legs!

In many Sub-Saharan countries the loss of a leg condemns someone to a life of greatly diminished capability. Unable to afford the cost of a new leg and subsequent care means that a formerly promising student will no longer be able to attend school, a taxi driver will lose his ability to drive his sole means of income and a mother would become unable to work or look after her children adequately. Apart from the physical loss, the emotional loss of confidence and dignity can be equally debilitating. With a donated leg, after care and community support groups, Legs4Africa aims to get as many people as possible back on their feet with the confidence and aspiration to go back to school, back to work and living life to the full. 

We have estimated that in the UK approximately 5,000 prosthetic legs end up in landfill every year because there is no mechanism for recycling them. Except that isn’t strictly true! There is a solution that works in the form of Legs4Africa. We welcome donations of old, outgrown and otherwise redundant legs. Since its inception 8 years ago, Legs4Africa has sent over 6,000 legs to Africa. However, a simple maths exercise demonstrates that there are a lot of legs still not being recycled and we would like to stop them going to waste.

If you have any limbs that are propped up in a cupboard or gathering dust under a bed, please consider the difference they would make to someone on another continent. It’s simple to donate them as you can see from this video Donate a prosthetic leg: a how to guide and you will be helping to save the planet in more ways than one by recycling and giving a life back to someone like the women whose story you can follow in this link Females are strong as hell

 

A Great new Venture! Little Legs from Legs4Africa is up and Running!

We’ve received a heart-warming message from Sue Pownall, Project Co-ordinator for a brilliant new venture, Little Legs, which has been set up by Legs4Africa.

Legs4Africa is a charity we’ve featured before and you can refresh your memory by following the link at the bottom of the post to read previous information about them and by visiting their Facebook Page also via the link below. It has always seemed ridiculous and a criminal waste to me that prosthetic legs aren’t “recycled” and that these valuable and expensive pieces of equipment often have to be disposed of. It is testament to the dedication and determination of the team at Legs4Africa that they have not only kept going in the face of considerable bureaucratic hurdles, but are increasing the amazing support they are offering to amputees and people with limb difference in Africa by extending this service to include children.

You will see from Sue’s report below how vital these artificial legs are to the welfare of these children and how important it is to keep the supply coming in. If you can support this very deserving charity by donating any outgrown or obsolete prosthetic legs, please do contact the Little Legs Project.

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Little Legs Article for Bader Braves 2018

The Little Legs Project is a new initiative from Legs4Africa.  

In Africa, there is a desperate shortage of prosthetic legs for children – there are thousands of young people who have lost a limb through birth defect, illness or accident.  As you know yourself, a growing child needs a new leg approximately every 6 months but in Africa a child is lucky to have a prosthetic leg at all. The leg alone can cost £500 without all the fitting and rehabilitation. In a country like Ghana or The Gambia, poverty prevents most parents from being able to afford prosthetic legs for their children.

Playing out with your friends, going to school and just being a child becomes a challenge and, in many cases, just impossible.

That’s where Little Legs at Legs4Africa comes in. As well as legs for adults, we collect legs that children here in the UK have outgrown and have generously donated, and we send them over to Africa. It’s a huge job – we have a store room in Bristol that is full of legs sticking out of boxes. It looks crazy but every so often the legs are carefully packed onto pallets and shipped out to specialist hospitals in our two main destinations, Ghana and The Gambia.  Sometimes people who are going there on holiday or for business very kindly volunteer to take a specially needed leg or two with them to hand over to someone from the hospital.

Legs in the Storeroom
Legs in the Storeroom

One such leg was Euan’s.  His mother got in touch with Legs4Africa and donated several of Euan’s outgrown legs that were stuffed at the back of a wardrobe, gathering dust.  At the same time, in The Gambia, there was a young girl, Wudea, who was waiting for a leg of the right size and one of Euan’s, once it had been adapted for her, fitted perfectly.  Now she is independent again, able to go to school and play with her friends and look forward to the future. Imagine the difference that has made to her life!

In Ghana there is a brilliant rehabilitation centre where not only do the amputees get fitted with their new leg they are taught how to use it and there is follow up rehabilitation for them.  They can also catch up with school there where they can make friends with other young amputees and start their lives again. We are helping to set up groups where amputees will be able to regularly meet together and get the sort of support from each other to help them cope with issues they come across.

Playing football
Playing Football

So, Little Legs is always on the lookout for children’s artificial legs to send out to Africa and if you want to help us, donating your outgrown legs would be a really positive way of doing so.  Obviously, some legs will have a special importance for you but if there are any you feel you can part with, the Little Legs Project would love to have them. Our website www.legs4africa.org has all the details you need to send them off to us.  A child in Africa will be very grateful.

Sue Pownall
Little Legs Project Co-odinator

Legs4Africa 
Registered Charity Number 1158697 

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