A DUDLEY taxi firm has accelerated The Big Push total to £17,154.

We now have enough to buy 28 wheelchairs for Russells Hall Hospital - and we're more than halfway to hitting our £30,000 target to purchase 50.

The latest £600 donation has come from Beacon Taxis, a firm that has ferried customers across the borough for more than 45 years.

When stone lifting champion Shahzada Saleem, also known as King Shazad, took over the running of the company in 1999, he was determined to make sure the firm had a community focus.

His son, Shaz Saleem, who is a managing director at the firm, said: "Over the years we have supported football teams, pub competitions and many charity campaigns. This year, as part of our community commitment, Beacon Taxis decided to support The Big Push."

Mr Saleem, who is also an ambassador for the Mayor of Dudley, continued: "I know first hand the importance of supporting a charity campaign.

"I'm very proud to be supporting the News and Russells Hall Hospital, who I have worked with many times in the past.

"I've also had pleasure working with many groups, such as Dudley CIL, which supports wheelchair users, so I know how important this campaign is."

Fellow managing director Umar Shahzada, added: "We work in partnerships with many care homes across the borough and a lot of our customers rely on taxis for wheelchair access, so for me personally this is a very important campaign to support.

"I'd like to thank the News for supporting Russells Hall Hospital and giving us an opportunity to give back, we are committed to providing the best service and working with the community."

Other recent donations include a cheque for £200 from the Greenfield Singers, based in Stourbridge.

People can pop into our offices at St John’s House, Stourbridge, with cash or cheques - cheques need to be made payable to Dudley Group NHS Charity/Wheelchairs or visit www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/dghc/wheelchairs to make a donation online.

Alternatively, text NEWS66 followed by an amount of £2, £5 or £10 to 70070.