Who are Legs4Africa

Legs4Africa, in conjunction with partner clinics and support staff in West Africa, work to provide a means of independent living for amputees.

We collect and ship prosthetic limbs, sourced from UK hospitals and private donors, to clinics for adaption and fitting by trained technicians. We believe that each and every amputee in low-income societies should be accounted for and that leg amputation must not result in immobility and isolation.

We are working to build reliable systems and infrastructures to provide equipment, rehabilitation and ongoing support for amputees.

We support the empowerment of amputees across West Africa so that they may dispel current stigmas by proving that disability does not equate to inability.

“A prosthetic leg has a tremendous ability to change a life. It gives an amputee a chance to stand up, walk again and get back into work.” – Tom Williams (Legs4Africa Founder)

Registered Charity Number 1158697

About

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I donate a used prosthetic leg?

Absolutely. We take used prosthetic legs from institutions and individuals from all across the UK. Visit this page: Equipment Donation

Can I donate prosthetic limbs aside from legs?

Yes, we would be happy to take arms or any other mobility aids, just write what you have on the equipment donation page.

Can I donate any other mobility equipment?

Yes. We will take wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, zimmer frames and orthotics devices such as knee and ankle braces. We do not take orthotic shoes.

We are in contact with several other charities and clinics who will distribute other mobility equipment in Africa on our behalf such as large quantities of wheelchairs

Can I choose where my donation goes?

Your contribution is greatly appreciated. Due to demands of shipping and distributing in the most economical way we can’t accept equipment or monetary donations for specific countries.

I want to write about the work Legs4Africa does. Who should I speak to?

Simply send an email to Hello@Legs4Africa.org with the subject line “PR enquiry” and we’d be more than happy to talk with you.

How is the money I donate spent?

Though we get the prosthetic legs and other equipment for free, there are many other costs involved with keeping the charity alive and healthy. See our recent Financial Report to see where your money goes.

Can I work for Legs4Africa?

You can. We have a volunteer job page here which lists our current vacancies.

How can I get updates on Legs4Africa's work?

We would be delighted to tell you what we’re up to, to receive our quarterly email updater then sign up with your email address by scrolling down to the bottom of this page.

Alternatively you could receive our quarterly magazine by post. Just sign up to project mobilise here, and give a minimum of £4 per month donation. Make sure you tick the ‘receive the magazine by post’ box and fill out your address.

I have raised some money for Legs4Africa, where do I send it?

You can make a one-off donation here, just make sure you uncheck the ‘give monthly’ option.

Alternatively you can post a cheque made payable to Legs4Africa. To:

Legs4Africa
Ferndale House
Mill Hill Road
Arnesby
Leicester
LE8 5WG

What is project mobilise?

We have set the stage by shipping out over 3000 redundant prosthetic legs to a handful of African countries. Now we are going further with Mobilise, the scheme to ensure sustainable support from donors so we can cover more countries, collect more legs and change more lives. We want to mobilise a continent by combining our proven method of collection and distribution and expand its reach with a reliable revenue stream. For a donation of £4 a month, supporters will ensure that 2 legs are shipped and fitted every year, and they will ensure that Legs4Africa will go on to help even more people in even more countries.

Do you obtain prosthetic legs from hospitals and manufacturers?

Yes, We have partnered with a number of hospitals and manufacturers in the UK which we collect from every few months. They keep hold of any prosthetic legs and components that can no longer be used in the UK.

People also send us limbs through the post. Quite often people will contact us regarding limbs that they have outgrown, routinely upgraded or ones from loved ones that have passed away.  If you have a prosthetic, you can donate it here.

How do you distribute the prosthetic legs?

We send the prosthetics to partnering mobility units in Africa. These units must be first checked that they will meet our requirements, including; they have the tools and skills to adapt prosthetics, no component parts will be sold for profit, they have safe storage facilities, measures will be taken to find and fit limbs to amputees in the poorest regions, they have measures in place for aftercare.

Why are the prosthetic legs sent to Africa and not reused in the UK?

The components that make up a prosthetic leg fall into a ‘single-use’ category by the NHS so cannot be reused in the UK. This is the NHS Single Use Policy Document.

Someone  receiving a new leg within the UK would often prefer that it is made out of new modern parts, rather than second hand ones. Whereas there is little or no access to any prosthetics in some African countries, so reuse of parts is not disconcerting.

Are second hand prosthetics safe and healthy to use?

The prosthetics are sterilised before they are sent. An African mobility centre will mould a new socket to fit the amputee, which is then attached to the prosthetic leg. Prosthetic Legs are often disassembled to their bare component parts which are then reassembled to match the specific requirements of the amputee. Checks are made to ensure the mobility centre has the sufficient tools and experience to re-purpose prosthetics because ill-fitting legs can cause significant pain, irritability of the stump and an uneven posture.

What kind of after-care do those fitted with prosthetics receive?

After receiving a leg an amputee should be introduced to exercises and self-massage techniques that allow them to build muscle and be steadily introduced to walking in their prosthetic.

Good aftercare seems to be lacking in most of the hospitals we have visited. And this is something we are going to focus on as the charity grows.

Which countries are you currently working with?

We currently send prosthetics to Gambia, Senegal and Zambia

Which countries will you go to next?

We have established connections in Ghana, Nigeria and Guinea Bissau. Final checks need to be made of the mobility units, and then we can begin shipping prosthetics to change lives.

How often are the legs taken to Africa?

We aim to send two shipments in 2016, and then three in 2017. Each shipment will be of over 750 prosthetics.

Why do some of the people that work for Legs4Africa get paid whilst others don’t?

The running, coordination and evolution of the charity requires a level of time commitment that volunteers are unable to offer

How will I know that my money's not just being spent on admin and overhead?

Legs4Africa is an extremely cost effective charity. We have managed to do everything on a shoestring so far using volunteer web developers, drivers, artists and writers. We have been donated the van, have free office space, printed costs are covered and we work with African partners and other charities to minimise shipping costs. We will endeavour to do good work without wasting your money.

If more sustainable methods for reusing prosthetics appear in the UK, what will the charity do?

We are constantly searching around for innovative methods and new technologies that can cut the costs of providing prosthetic legs to people.

How does gift aid work on my monthly donation?

Gift Aid is a simple way to increase the value of your support to Legs4Africa at no extra cost to you. If you pay tax in the UK, Legs4Africa can reclaim the basic rate tax (25%) on your donation. So, if you donate £100, it is worth £125 to Legs4Africa.

In order for Legs4Africa to reclaim the tax you have paid on your donations, you must have paid income or capital gains tax (in the UK) for each tax year (6 April to 5 April) at least equal to the tax that all the charities that you donate to will reclaim on your gifts for that tax year. Other taxes such as VAT and Council Tax do not qualify

The process is simple – all you have to do is make a Gift Aid declaration. If you are donating online, just tick the Gift Aid box on the donation form.