The Mayor of Bishop’s Castle is being pushed in a bed by volunteers for 18 miles to raise awareness and funds for a campaign to get the town’s hospital beds reopened for the benefit of patients in south-west Shropshire.

Councillor Josh Dickin set off in a purpose made bed at 9am this morning (August 28) from Bishop’s Castle Community Hospital to embark on a round trip of towns and villages including Colebatch, Acton, Clun, Clunton, Purslow, Kempton, Lydbury North and Brockton.

The bed-push challenge is one of several events held to highlight the community's concerns that their hospital, and its 16 inpatient beds which have been closed since October 2021, is threatened with permanent closure.

Shropshire Community Health Trust, who run the hospital, say they can’t recruit enough nursing and healthcare staff to safely re-open them.

More than 2,630 people have signed a petition withing a couple of weeks and handed to health board bosses, and hundreds attended a protest in Bishop’s Castle. Campaigners say they are prepared to fight the Trust “all the way” if it decides to close the hospital which will be announced on Thursday, September 7.


Mayor Josh Dickin said: “We urgently need donations to help towards publicity/printing costs, potentially research costs, rooming costs, software costs amongst many other things.

“All money raised will be accounted for by the Community Hospital League of Friends with a member of the campaign group acting as a Sub Treasurer to the LOF Treasurer.

“A purpose made bed was built to travel around the local communities, being pushed by volunteers with myself in the bed, (I will help push when on Colstey Bank) to raise awareness and much needed funds for the campaign.

“Please donate whatever you can, we are truly grateful for your support. We know money is tight for many, but every little really does help.

“We are all together as one, with the best interests for what’s best for our community!

“Please come out and show your support, even hop on the bed with the mayor for a photo.”