Stratford Shopmobility needs donations to expand - The Leamington Observer

Stratford Shopmobility needs donations to expand

A LONG-running shopmobility charity in Stratford is calling for donations so it can expand.

Stratford Shopmobility hires out wheelchairs, mobility scooters and mobility aids and is appealing for donations to help fund new equipment.

Demand from customers has increased since the running of the shopmobility service was taken over by The Friends of Stratford Shopmobility Charity and Active Mobility last December after 26 years as a Stratford District Council run service.

It has helped more than 125 people between November and February – which is higher than average during what is usually a quieter period for the service – with hiring out wheelchairs and mobility scooters for daily and weekly hire.

And as the service prepares for the peak summer season, one of Stratford Shopmobility’s trustees, Elizabeth Dixon, says the service is seeking around £50,000 worth of funding to update some of their 35-strong range of mobility scooters and wheelchairs – and where possible, expand the range too.

She said: “Our service provides a lifeline for a lot of people with physical disabilities, because the cost of owning their own mobility scooter or wheelchair is expensive – purchasing a basic mobility scooter alone can cost upwards of £1,000.

“As a service we are keen for people who are in need of mobility support to know that we are here to support them, which is one of the reasons we are now open for longer, and is partly why we have helped so many people in our first three months.

“Our customer base is a mixture of repeat users living locally along with tourists from further afield, and with the summer fast approaching, we are anticipating that this is going to grow exponentially.”

Ms Dixon added: “The service is going from strength to strength and we want to be able to build on the support that Stratford District Council has given to the service for the best part of a quarter of a century.

“We are in discussions with the council who are advising us on funding opportunities that could contribute towards our fundraising target, but we’d also be grateful for any donations from the general public too – whether that is leaving a small donation when they use our service, or local businesses or individuals who wish to launch their own fundraising challenges.”

Stratford Shopmobility will continue to be based at Bridgeway multi-storey car cark seven days a week after the charity was granted the space rent-free by SDC.

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