WHEELCHAIR tennis superstar Jordanne Whiley is delighted that The Big Push campaign has got off to such a flying start.

For the last 10 weeks, we’ve been working with the Dudley Group NHS Charity to try and raise £30,000 to buy 50 additional wheelchairs for Russells Hall Hospital.

And the appeal is almost one third of the way through, with £9,116 being donated so far by generous backers – enough for 15 wheelchairs.

The demand for wheelchairs is on the rise as they are used by hundreds of patients every day – from those with mobility problems to people being transferred to and from wards for x-rays and scans.

Halesowen’s own Wimbledon champion, who is also the patron of the appeal, thanked all the people and businesses who have donated so far, but urged others to back the campaign.

Jordanne said: “It’s great to see that people are getting behind it as it really is an important cause.

“Hospitals like Russells Hall are in a desperate need of wheelchairs due to their constant use, so it’s vital that the people of Dudley borough support the appeal.

“Sometimes hospital can be scary places for people, especially those going in for operations or to have scans, and the last thing you want is to have an old, uncomfortable and worn out chair.”

She added: “Although the fundraising is coming along nicely, I really hope that people keep donating so we can make it to the £30,000 target.”

Any groups, organisations or businesses interested in sponsoring a chair, should call our reporter Kelly Harris on 01384 358283.

People can also donate by texting NEWS66 and an amount of £2, £5 or £10 to 70070 or online via www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/dghc/wheelchairs.

Alternatively, visit our offices at St John’s House, Stourbridge, with cash or cheques, payable to Dudley Group NHS Charity/Wheelchairs.