A petition bidding to save Red Cross mobility aid centres in Hampshire from closing has failed despite backing from large members of the public and local councillors.
12 out of 21 of the Red Cross mobility aid loan centres in the county will be shut as part of the organisation’s reprioritisation process in the face of tighter budgets.
Totton is one facility to have already ceased operating despite a petition backed by councillor David Harrison.
Cllr Harrison told the Southern Daily Echo that the “worst aspect” of the closures of the centres is that people will find it more difficult to access the services.
He said: “It’s also a really great shame to have lost many of the fantastic volunteers who run the service.
“It’s sometimes only when a service is lost that people really appreciate the value of it. I know, from personal experience, that having a Red Cross mobility centre in Totton was a huge help when my elderly parents needed the loan of equipment.”
Meanwhile, Aaron Stevens, mobility aids manager at the Red Cross, told the newspaper that closing centres in Hampshire will allow the organisation to use its resources wisely and “deliver a cost-effective service reaching as many people as possible”.
He acknowledged that the changes may cause people inconvenience and added that the Red Cross is looking at options such as a more developed delivery service.