A HOSPITAL’S Friends’ group has donated equipment aimed at helping stroke victims to drive again.

The Friends of Richardson Hospital, in Barnard Castle, has provided the hospital with a special battery for its driving assessment machine, which is used by the Occupational Therapy Service.

The equipment, which was also purchased by the Friends group some time ago, helps to assess stroke patients’ abilities in the aftermath of their illness.

Marie Yarker, chairwoman of the group, said: “For some victims, being able to drive again is a real boost to their recovery.

"As well as providing amenities and additional items for patients, we also fund elements of the service and equipment at the hospital which otherwise it could not afford."

The group, which is a registered charity, works in partnership with Community Ventures Ltd (Facilities Management) and County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust to support healthcare needs in Teesdale.