Residents in some areas of the UK have responded to the Red Cross’s announcement of multiple mobility aid centre closures by launching petitions to keep them open.
One petition has started in Totton, Hampshire, after it was revealed that at least 11 of the charity’s equipment loan centres are set to close in the county, with more across the country set to follow suit before 2019.
The services are costly to run and the Red Cross has had to divert cash to other parts of the charity, leaving many to close.
But residents are worried that the remaining centres will become overstretched and fear that people with mobility issues will have to travel too far to access equipment to keep them mobile.
The petition to save the centre in Totton, which is due to closed on 12 October, is being backed by Cllr David Harrison.
It describes the closure of the mobility aid centres as demonstrating “a complete disregard for every local resident” and is demanding a Community Impact Statement which investigates the primary needs of disabled citizens in the area.
As well as wanting the mobility centre to be saved, the petition has asked for the council to provide “reasonable adjustments which are of similar virtue and in the same jurisdiction as that of Totton Mobility Aids Centre”.
The petition has also asked councillors to re-assess the impact of closing 11 mobility aid centres on the local population.
Local resident Alec Nayler, wrote: “The idea of a Mobility Aids Centre is to assist those people most in need. I know personally how difficult it is to obtain such resources.
“Being forced to travel to ‘selected destinations’ will instantly be out of reach for local residents affected by the change.
“Hampshire County Council have a duty of care for her residents. To allow closure is not the answer or a reasonable adjustment.”