Legs4Africa has estimated that 1,000 prosthetic legs have been collected and recycled from Opcare since the charity began which is a fantastic achievement for everyone that is involved.
“If unwanted limbs weren’t recycled, they would go to landfill – even though they have plenty of life left in them. So Legs4Africa is helping to reduce the environmental footprint, reusing materials rather than creating new ones, and reducing waste. From such a simple equation of matching an unwanted limb to someone who wants it, they have expanded to impact the lives of so many people and communities. It is a unique mission, and one that is run with such a professional approach despite the small size of the charity. It’s also great to know that any support you give really does go to the people who need it.”Lucy Duffy-Wyatt, Ability Matters Abingdon Clinic
Legs4Africa has estimated that approximately 1,000 prosthetic legs have been collected from the Opcare headquarters in Abingdon and limb centres across the UK that Opcare supply. It’s hard to say exactly how many because a lot of legs come to Legs4Africa already pre-dismantled by Opcare staff which is great because it saves us doing that and means the components can be shipped to limb centres in sub-Saharan Africa even more swiftly.
With each leg weighing an average of 3kgs, the collaboration between Legs4Africa and Opcare has seen more than 3 tonnes of prosthetic legs make a u-turn from landfill to instead stocking store rooms in limb fitting centres in Sub-Saharan Africa. For the legs that are donated to Legs4Africa that haven’t yet been dismantled, they still need to be taken apart so each component can be cleaned and serviced before being prepared for shipment. The dismantling is mostly done by good willed retired gentlemen at work benches at 5 Men’s Sheds across Bristol, Gloucestershire and Scotland.
“Africa has one of the world’s fastest growing economies and has also embraced recycling like we can only imagine. In the future we’ll see how this pans out but I believe the centres that we’re currently supporting will open up to new markets and not just rely on our donated supply chain.Tom Williams – Founder, Legs4Africa
In February this year (2020) Tom from Legs4Africa visited the Opcare headquarters in Abingdon to pick up 120 legs which marks the largest collection ever made.