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Can you help? Yes, you can!

Sophia and Isabela guess how many cans there are to be crushed. They reckoned there were about 350-400. You’ll have to read
to the bottom of this page to find how close they were.

The Rotary Club of Leicester Novus is one of several Rotary clubs across the east Midlands which is collecting aluminium cans.

The cans will be smelted into ingots which will eventually provide the raw material to build helipads for air ambulance helicopters. Neither Leicester Royal Infirmary, nor Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, have helipads at the moment, so far too frequently, vital minutes can be lost as critically-ill patients are transferred into road ambulances or they are flown many miles away to hospitals at Coventry or even further away.

Novus is lucky to have attracted help from members’ contacts so the inward flow of cans is significant. Zeph’s Cafe at Oadby Trinity Methodist Church are collecting the cans. So, too, are staff at The Pizza Parlour in Belgrave Road, Leicester. And the daughter-in-law of Novus member Jim Matthews often brings cans from her shifts at Premier Inn.

Although the cans will be crushed by prisoners at Stocken Prison, Oakham, Jim decided it would be much better to crush them first so that John Nowell, the brains behind and the leading light in front of Helipads for Hospitals, could collect more weight in fewer trips from his home in Oakham. Jim bought a foot-operated can crusher.

His granddaughters Sophia (8) and Isabela (5) volunteered to help ‘Grampy’ as he crushed the latest donations.In units of ten, Isabela counted and put the crushed cans in a bin while Sophia filmed the video below

This just demonstrates that much of the work Rotary does is seldom seen… and that it often involves volunteers with only a slight link to Rotary. But who knows, maybe one day Sophia and Isabela will join the growing number of young women who choose to put Service Above Self and join this international movement of 1.2 million men and women working behind the scenes to save the lives of people they will never meet.

Helipads for Hospitals also goes some way to save the planet… Not only are many of the donated cans rescued from being litter, but the more we recycle aluminium, the less we have to dig bauxite out of the ground in Guinea, Australia, Brazil, Jamaica and China with its damaging effect on the environment.

The day after ‘Grampy’, Sophia and Isabela crushed and counted all the cans in this pile, Jim returned to a Rotary meeting and was given several dozen more cans to crush!

Oh… you’re still reading? Want to know how many cans were in that pile in the garage? 414.

Want to know how many we need for one helipad? One million.

But, if loads of people read this and get in touch with Jim via this website, we can help save the planet while saving lives.

Last edited: 13:00 on Tuesday, November 19