Shopmobility Sheffield closes suddenly after council funding dries up

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Mobility service, Shopmobility, suddenly closed its Sheffield branch earlier this week without any warning.

As a result, disabled shoppers in the area have been affected by the shutting of the charity which rented out wheelchairs and mobility scooters.

Shopmobility Sheffield was a volunteer-led service which had been running for more than two decades and provided vehicles for hire from its outlets at Crystal Peaks shopping centre and on West Street in the city centre.

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The closure comes after its council grant was lost around a year-and-half-ago.

The council announced last year that it was ending Shopmobility’s £14,000 a year grant after the charity lost out to private firm Clark and Partners in its bid for a new tender.

Clark and Partners launched a similar service called Mobile Sheffield, funded by the council and Sheffield Business Improvement District (BID), which continues to operate from The Moor Market.

Shopmobility Sheffield said at the time that it had 10,000 registered users and in 2016 had processed 16,000 loans.

A volunteer at the charity, told The Star: “We’ve tried to keep our heads above water since losing the council funding, but it got to the point where we could no longer afford to keep going.

“We were told on Friday that it was closing. We’re all gutted and we can’t apologise enough to our customers.

“Obviously the council has had to make cuts and as one of the small fish in a big pond we were always going to be affected.”

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Carly Hacon

The author Carly Hacon

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