Friday, April 4, 2008

Desperate for help: Romania's hospital for the forgotten

A CHARITY is appealing for tradesmen to help improve the water supply to a psychiatric hospital in Romania.

Worcester News chief photographer John Anyon has worked with the North Nibley Romania team since 2001.

He said: "We work in a small village in central Romania about 10 miles from the city of Brasov called Mina 1 Mai which means Mine of the First of May.

"The village, a coal mining community up until the 1960s, has about 1,200 inhabitants and life now revolves around subsistence agriculture.

"The hospital, formerly the coal mine office building, is old and in a very poor state." Although the charity has achieved a lot in recent years, namely the complete restoration of the kitchens and the building and funding of a dentist's surgery, a lot remains to be done.

Mr Anyon said: "The hospital is home to about 150 patients. It is the final repository of the region's hopeless cases of schizophrenia, depression, Alzheimer's and learning difficulties."

During the often very hot and dry summers the village and the hospital suffer from serious water shortages.

The charity has been asked to lay a pipe from a water reservoir that is situated several hundred yards from the hospital up a steep heavily wooded hillside.

Although this reservoir serves the building at present the existing pipe is insufficient.

As well as this planned project the charity also intends to complete the ongoing task of rewiring the hospital as many of the current fixtures and fittings are in a poor and dangerous state.

The charity needs the support of more electricians, plumbers, bricklayers and carpenters to complete these projects.

"We rely entirely on volunteers and 100 per cent of the money that is raised is spent on projects in the village. Without the support of skilled tradesmen these projects could be in doubt," Mr Anyon said.

The North Nibley Romania team was formed in Gloucestershire in the early 1990s after television images of institutions in the former Eastern Bloc country shocked the world.

Some of the projects at the hospital have been of huge benefit to the patients.

The charity has also bought and installed an industrial washing machine and renewed the heating system.

If anyone is interested in helping the charity, they can visit the website - - for more details.

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