A new minibus for patients at the regional spinal injuries centre has been delivered after a fundraising appeal led by the Southern Spinal Injuries Trust.

For the two years the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre at Salisbury has been without suitable transport for patients, many of whom are from Wiltshire.

As a result, excursions away from the hospital - which are an important part of the rehabilitation process – have been a challenge.

Now a wide range of recreational activities has been planned. Among the outings on offer to patients will include a trip to Twickenham to see England vs Wales.

Trust patron Geoff Holt, who was the first disabled person to sail around Britain single-handed and is a disability sports ambassador, said: “Being able to experience real life situations while still being cared for at the spinal centre is so important but, without suitable transport, it’s not easily done.

“You can’t put a price on the benefits that a new minibus will provide for patients undergoing long term hospital stays following a spinal cord injury.”