Clitheroe Shopmobility bucks national trend and outgrows premises

Image: Ribble Valley Borough Council. Simon O’Rourke, of Ribble Valley Shopmobility, and Bridget Hilton, chairman of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s health and housing committee.

A Shopmobility service in Clitheroe, near Manchester, Blackburn, has outgrown its premises and has now moved to a new facility to keep up with demand.

It is one of a few such services which have performed well in recent months after many around the country have been forced to close because of critical funding cuts.

Thanks to an £8,000 grant from Ribble Valley Borough council the Shopmobility has now increased it stock size of mobility products and relocated to a former pharmacy site.

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As well as hiring mobility scooters and large items, such as hoists and turntables, it now stocks a range of living aids for sale, such as spill-proof cups, folding canes and walking sticks, wall-mounted key safes and pill cutters and crushers.

The Shopmobility is run by Simon O’Rourke, who said the popular service, which he started 11 years ago from a single stall on Clitheroe Market, had outgrown itself.

He said: “The service is going from strength to strength and we desperately needed more space. Thanks to the generosity of Ribble Valley Borough Council, Ingham Building Contractors, Dawson’s and Peter Buckley Pharmacy, we have been able to relocate to the new premises and increase our stock of mobility aids for sale or hire.

As well as offering affordable scooter and wheelchair hire, the Shopmobility doubles as an information point, offering leaflets, information, advice and advocacy on disability issues.

Bridget Hilton, chairman of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s health and housing committee, said: “Shopmobility provides a much-needed and appreciated service to residents and Simon and his team of volunteers do a fantastic job. The council is committed to identifying individual and community needs, and responding where possible, and we are delighted to have supported Shopmobility.”

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