Patients in the hospital’s Intermediate Care Unit were left disappointed when their bay’s television broke during an episode of Strictly Come Dancing before Christmas.
Staff on the therapy-led unit started a raffle to fundraise for a replacement, but when healthcare assistant Lesley Randles told her husband Kenny he spotted an opportunity for his fellow taxi drivers to make a difference and they ended up raising a total of £465.
Kenny said: “Lesley came home and said the television had gone on the ward and they were fundraising to get a new telly.
“I wanted to help so I just said I’d go and ask the lads in the black cabs if they’d give some cash so the patients could carry on watching their favourite shows.”
Kenny walked from cab to cab collecting donations from his colleagues at the taxi ranks by Chester train station and Primark over the festive period.
He was delighted with the response, adding: “Everybody from all around the town jumped at the chance to chip in, with guys from different companies and independent drivers getting involved. It was great for us all to pull together like this.”
The Intermediate Care Unit delivers entirely nurse and therapist-led care in a more relaxed setting for patients who can be ready to return home within a few weeks of having rehabilitation.
Given the nature of this ward as a next-step-home environment it is especially important that patients have as many home comforts as possible.
“Getting to watch shows like Strictly or Dancing on Ice with a cup of tea can make a huge difference to patients in hospital,” Lesley said.
“That’s why we all started to put together fundraising ideas to get a new one, but I’m so proud that Kenny and the others stepped in.
“All the cab drivers are lovely and I’m not surprised at all they leapt at the chance to help us.”
Kenny and fellow driver Craig Buckley stopped by the ward to drop off the new television along with the remaining cash, which will be used for other additional items for patients.
Ward manager Deborah Conwell said: “It’s a fantastic gesture from Kenny and the other drivers and I want to thank them on behalf of the Countess and our patients. “When the TV is up and running in the bay we’re even thinking about having a Dancing on Ice party to celebrate!”