Wakefield Hospice took delivery of a unique donation this week, as a push-around platform arrived at their warehouse, donated by Normanton-based Horizon Platforms.

Following a volunteering day undertaken by the Horizon Platforms team, they spotted an opportunity to help the Hospice volunteers replace the ladders they were using in their warehouse, with a safer, more efficient machine to do the job.

The Hospice team were invited to Horizon’s head office and took part in an industry standard training course, to ensure the machine will be used safely. The work platform has been sprayed in the hospice’s brand colour and will be maintained by Horizon free of charge.

Helen Knowles, director of income generation, Wakefield Hospice, said: “We welcome so many volunteers from local businesses each year, and the way they give up their time is always so appreciated. To be given such a useful machine to help us reduce the time it takes from receiving donations to getting them out to our stores or sold online, will have such a big impact on our hard-working volunteers.”

Ben Hirst, CEO, Horizon Platforms, adds: “We’ve been an employee-owned business now for two years, and each co-owner at Horizon is given the chance to swap working days for volunteering days. It’s something I’d definitely encourage other businesses in our region to consider. These charities and organisations are often short-staffed, so just by offering your time can really make a difference. We’re happy the charity now has one of our machines to help them stay safe when they are working at height and we’ll continue to ensure this is the case, indefinitely.”

All items donated to the hospice are sorted at the Warehouse before distributing to their eight shops or placed on their eBay shop. If the item is not fit for sale but good enough to use elsewhere, textile items may be ragged, whereby the charity is able to receive funds and the goods are redistributed for use be it for overseas aid charities or ethically recycled.

Staff at the warehouse include a warehouse manager, three sorters, three drivers and two house clearance operatives. A team of volunteers help with everything from greeting to PAT testing to sorting, and the charity welcomes corporate teams throughout the year and are constantly on the lookout for volunteers to support with their operations.

Founded in 2008 by Ben Hirst and Matthew Fray, with a head office in Wakefield, Horizon Platforms employs a team of 80. The firm provides machines such as cherry pickers, scissor lifts and push around platforms for hire across the UK using a network of trusted hire partners and offers state of the art training facilities for those wishing to gain qualifications to work safely at height.