The British Red Cross, which loans mobility equipment to end-users and supplies it to local authorities, has been forced to close one of its branches in King’s Lynn.
The organisation’s Austin Fields loan centre will close because of funding cuts and end-users will now need to order mobility equipment either online or by phone and will have the items delivered.
The centre offered short-term loans of equipment such as wheelchairs, commodes and toileting aids to assist people who have temporary mobility issues.
Residents will now be able to collect equipment from the Red Cross’s branch in Swaffham and collections and deliveries will be made once a week for people who are unable to collect their own aids.
Norfolk’s British Red Cross mobility aids service manager, Maureen Wasmuth, told Lynn News: “We are very sorry to lose our King’s Lynn building, but would like to reassure the public we can keep the mobility aid service going for our wonderful local community, with whom we’ve always had a great relationship.”
The Red Cross runs an extensive number of equipment centres across the country where people are offered an affordable and temporary solution for mobility issues, but many have come under pressure recently amid funding difficulties.
In November one Red Cross centre in Essex was targeted by thieves who broke into the building looking for cash.
The building was ransacked by the thieves but they were only able to find around £200 because most cash had already been taken to the bank the week before.
The charity’s centre closed for a week meaning it was unable to issue equipment like wheelchairs, commodes and toilet frames to local residents.