Mobility aid loan service relaunches after Red Cross centre closure

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A community wheelchair and mobility equipment loan service in Newmarket began reissuing aids to local residents just a fortnight after the original Red Cross distribution centre closed down.

The initiative sprang up after cost pressures forced the Red Cross to close down in the area. It is being led by five former members of the centre who wanted to carry the service on.

The community group established the Christchurch Mobility Aids Loan Service under the umbrella of a local Methodist chapel.

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One of the founders, Geraldine Law, told a local newspaper that the group wanted to make sure local people had access to equipment close by and did not have to travel to centres further away.

The new centre now offers wheelchairs, walking frames, commodes and other aids for people who need to borrow them and it is also selling some items on a permanent basis.

Ms Law told the Newmarket Journal: “We ask for a £20 deposit for wheelchairs and £10 for other items which we refund, or people can donate it to us if they wish.”

Red Cross mobility aid centres across the country have struggled to say open recently as cost pressures and rents increase.

The organisation believes it has to spend its money as sensibly as possible in order to continue its various operations at home and abroad, and this means that some of its mobility aid centres have been axed.

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