Wauchope District Memorial Hospital has six new lightweight wheelchairs thanks to the Hastings Macleay Freemasons Association, Lodge Star of Wauchope and the Freemasons' charity, Masonicare.
The donation, valued at $3000, is part of a state-wide Masonicare initiative to donate wheelchairs to public hospitals in rural and regional NSW. The cost of the chairs is shared, dollar-for-dollar, with participating Masonic Lodges.
Lodge Star of Wauchope Past Master Harry Lavender said the donation was a very practical way of supporting Wauchope Hospital and its patients.
"Freemasons have a long history of supporting worthy causes, and here in Wauchope it is especially true," Mr Lavender said.
"This gift is highly practical, but it also represents independence and freedom to move for those patients who have limited mobility.
"We could see the benefits of such a practical gift and we're certain so too would those in our community who supported our fundraising efforts."
Rehabilitation Nursing Unit Manager Kate Williams said she was delighted with the hospital's new fleet of wheelchairs.
"I can't tell you how significant this donation is," Ms Williams said.
"To receive six of these incredibly sturdy, manoeuvrable wheelchairs is amazing. It represents mobility to some of our rehabilitation patients recovering from falls, illness or injury.
"These wheelchairs not only look great, but they are specially designed to address infection control, performance and durability issues.
"They are proudly emblazoned with the Freemasons' logo and the hospital's name on the back so everyone can see where they came from and where they belong."