DUDLEY North MP Ian Austin has donated £600 towards The Big Push campaign.

Back in 2015, to Mr Austin’s dismay, MPs received what he described as a “completely bonkers” pay rise.

Instead of pocketing the cash himself, the Labour MP decided to put it to good use.

He set up an account with Dudley’s Castle & Crystal Credit Union to collect the proceeds and frequently dips into it when Dudley’s community groups, charities and other worthy causes require donations.

Mr Austin’s latest donation of £600 has purchased a wheelchair for Russells Hall Hospital and has boosted the total raised throughout the five weeks the campaign has been running to £6,764 - enough for 11 wheelchairs.

He said: “When the NHS is facing big cutbacks and longer waiting lists, it’s great to see the News and local people stepping in to help our local hospital.

“I promised at the election that when times are tough for so many local families I would use the MPs’ pay rise to help good causes so I’m really pleased to support this appeal and I know big-hearted local people will help out too.”

Diane Wake, chief executive of the Dudley Group NHS Trust, who received the cheque from Mr Austin last Monday, said: “It was good to meet up with Ian, and to be able to thank him in person for his sponsorship of a wheelchair.”

We’ve still got a long way to go to reach our £30,000 target to purchase 50 additional wheelchairs.

You can help us by texting NEWS66 and an amount of £2, £5 or £10 to 70070.

Donations can also be made online via www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/dghc/wheelchairs or by calling into our offices at St John’s House, Stourbridge, with cash or cheques.

Cheques MUST be made payable to Dudley Group NHS Charity/Wheelchairs.