A Shopmobility service in Clydebank is bucking the trend of equipment loan services in the UK after it expanded to a larger unit allowing it to serve more customers with a greater range of services.
Clyde Shopmobility, which loans wheelchairs, scooters and other equipment to locals, relocated to a larger unit in Clyde Shopping Centre in April and now has more than 1,100 people signed up to its service.
The service first launched in 2011 and will soon begin work on a new Changing Places facility to offer shoppers with complex needs an area where they can use the toilet more comfortably.
The Shopmobility also hoists a NHS hearing aid clinic twice a month where residents can come to have their tubes and batteries replaced and get advice on devices.
Recently-appointed project coordinator for Clyde Shopmobility, Amanda Drennan, told the Clydebank Post that the service has become much busier and received more enquiries since moving to a more central location.
Tom Wilmshurst, an audiology support volunteer for the NHS hearing aid service, told the newspaper: “The shop is a thousand times better now; the range of things is great because they’ve got the room now.”
Gil Paterson MSP added: “The shop is outstanding and very inviting. The room that it’s got to service and assist people could not be better.
One service user remarked: “The new location is absolutely fantastic, it’s good to be in and around all the shops. Down at the other location we were out of sight, out of mind.”
Shopmobility services are generally struggling around the UK amid sharp funding cuts among councils. The services that survive tend to be those that diversify themselves. Most services have been forced to introduce small membership fees to fund themselves.
Image: Clyde Shopping Centre