A Shopmobility service in Redditch has celebrated 30 years of providing residents with mobility equipment.
The store has been providing local people with ‘a lifeline’ for the past three decades. The service costs the council around £70,000 a year.
It has struggled in the past to stay afloat. In 2010 Kingfisher Shopping Centre, where the Shopmobility is based, withdrew its funding scheme and earlier this year a fee was brought in for service users in an attempt to save the council £2.8m in the next four years.
Users are now charged an annual membership of £10. Regarding the new charges, the council said: “It was not an easy decision for the Council to introduce these charges and it was due to the reduction in funding that all local authorities are facing. These charges are being introduced in order to ensure the Shopmobility Service can continue and develop in the future and we thank all our customers for their ongoing support.”
To celebrate its milestone the Shopmobility is holding a specialist event at the shopping centre in which it operates.
Redditch Borough Councillor Greg Chance, told the Redditch and Alcester Advertiser: “Shopmobility is a lifeline for some of our residents – and visitors – as it means they can get out of the house and safely get around.
“It is a mini community too as, over the last 30 years, we have built up a list of loyal customers.
“This party is a great chance for them to get together and catch up and of course to celebrate three decades of Shopmobility.”
The Shopmobility site provides powerchairs, mobility scooters, wheelchairs and general daily mobility aids.