Mobility service closing after 23 years ‘hopes someone will pick up the mantle’

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Shrewsbury Shopmobility will close for the final time in June after 23 years of providing a mobility equipment hire service to the town.

The mobility service has blamed a lack of funding and decline in demand for its equipment but is looking for someone else to pick up where it left off.

Gillian Bradley, coordinator for Shopmobility Shrewsbury, said: “We have served the town for 23 years and there are lots of factors that have led to this very hard decision. It seems the service is just not needed as it was.

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“But we are hoping that someone will take it up and run it in the future. It is a very sad decision and we hope there will be some sort of service for the town.

“The service is run by volunteers and an appeal for more hands have been put out on social media for the past two years although there has been a shortage of takers.

“We just cannot run it anymore.”

Ms Bradley suggested that the local council or shopping centres could run a mobility service for residents.

She said that in Telford, the town centre management run a service and suggested the same could be done in Shrewsbury.

“We have tried hard to keep going and we will struggle on until June but we want to let as many people as possible know that we will be closing.

“This is a problem that many Shopmobility services are experiencing and many have shut. To do 23 years in the town is amazing but it just isn’t viable for us anymore. I hope that someone will step into the breach. It was the only decision we could take.”

Shopmobility services rely heavily on donations, small hire charges and volunteers.

Funding cuts across councils have seen numerous Shopmobility services close in recent months and more are facing the chop.

In some instances, for example in Sheffield, local mobility dealers have come to the rescue and offered to run the services themselves.

However, many in the industry agree that the services must be run like a profitable business if they are to be viable and survive, unlike the vast majority of charity-led services in the UK.

Tags : shopmobilityshrewsbury shopmobility
Joe Peskett

The author Joe Peskett

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