To Russia With Love campaign launched to help disabled Russian orphans (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Darlington mum launches campaign to help disabled Russian orphans
A DOCUMENTARY is being made highlighting a North-East mother’s campaign to send unwanted NHS equipment to Russian orphanages.
Sian Parker Harrison saw firsthand how much NHS equipment goes to waste when she tried to return items not needed by her disabled daughter Harriet, five.
Ms Parker Harrison from Darlington was told some items would be destroyed because once they were issued they were classed as “contaminated” if returned, even if they had not actually been used.
This inspired her to set up the To Russia With Love campaign to send such equipment, which includes breathing apparatus, antiseptic gauze and gloves, to Russian orphanages in need.
Filmmaker Nick Rowntree is recording the campaign’s progress for a documentary which will be narrated by Teesside television star Stephen Tompkinson.
Ms Parker Harrison said: “The purpose of the documentary is really to raise awareness of what we’re doing.
“So much equipment is wasted when really there is nothing wrong with it, and there are orphanages in Russia with disabled children in them who are desperate for things; we are turning one man’s waste into another man’s treasure.”
Ms Parker Harrison is travelling to Russia in November to meet officials at the orphanages she intends to help and she is also working with schools in the Darlington area to collect any discarded disabled equipment they have accumulated.
Mr Rowntree will record each stage of the crusade and said he wants his film to defy the trend of real life documentaries which exploit “the ugly and selfish face of humanity”.
He added: “It is not our intention to draw attention to any perceived neglect in Eastern Europe; there are no doubt complicated historical reasons for this.
“Nor is it the intention to make any judgement on why so much equipment is wasted by a UK government funded NHS; it’s probably unavoidable.
“This film will be about Sian Parker Harrison, and how, in a moment of genius inspiration, she spotted a natural flaw in the global social system and set about trying to fix it.”
A fundraising evening for the campaign - which is under the umbrella of Ms Parker Harrison’s Quality Care International enterprise- is being held on October 13 at The Quaker House on Mechanics Yard, Darlington, from 3pm with live music, a quiz and more.
The campaign also needs sponsors and anybody who can help can contact Sian at email@example.com
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