Stratford Shopmobility seeks donations to help fund new equipment


Published on 28 March 2024
Archived on 28 April 2024

A Stratford-upon-Avon based charity that hires out wheelchairs, mobility scooters and mobility aids is appealing for donations to help fund new equipment following a positive reaction from customers since forming a new partnership three months ago.

The running of Stratford Shopmobility, which has been in the town for 26 years thanks to the support of Stratford-on-Avon District Council, was taken over by The Friends of Stratford Shopmobility Charity and Active Mobility last December who are now partnering to run the service on the council's behalf.

The service has helped more than 125 people between November and February - which is higher than average during what is usually a quieter period for the service - with hiring out wheelchairs and mobility scooters for daily and weekly hire.

And as the service prepares for the peak summer season, one of Stratford Shopmobility's trustees, Elizabeth Dixon, says the service is seeking around £50,000 worth of funding to update some of their 35-strong range of mobility scooters and wheelchairs - and where possible, expand the range too.

She said: "Our service provides a lifeline for a lot of people with physical disabilities, because the cost of owning their own mobility scooter or wheelchair is expensive - purchasing a basic mobility scooter alone can cost upwards of £1,000.

"However, with our service, users can hire a mobility scooter or a wheelchair to carry out their daily essentials while visiting the local area, and we only ask for a donation if it's for a very short period of time; or users can hire for a longer period, including a mobility scooter for as little as £10 per day or a wheelchair for £5 per day both with a refundable deposit.

"As a service we are keen for people who are in need of mobility support to know that we are here to support them, which is one of the reasons we are now open for longer, and is partly why we have helped so many people in our first three months.

"Our customer base is a mixture of repeat users living locally along with tourists from further afield, and with the summer fast approaching, we are anticipating that this is going to grow exponentially.

"The service is going from strength to strength and we want to be able to build on the support that Stratford District Council has given to the service for the best part of a quarter of a century.

"We are in discussions with the council who are advising us on funding opportunities that could contribute towards our fundraising target, but we'd also be grateful for any donations from the general public too - whether that is leaving a small donation when they use our service, or local businesses or individuals who wish to launch their own fundraising challenges."

Stratford Shopmobility will continue to be based at Bridgeway Multi-Storey Car Park seven days a week after the charity was granted the space rent-free by Stratford District Council.

Cllr Liz Coles, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Customer Services, said: "I am delighted that Stratford District Council continues to support this valued service which provides such important help to many residents and visitors."

Stratford Shopmobility's growth comes at a time when the south Warwickshire region's tourism scene is also undergoing a rise of its own, with the most up to date figures indicating that around 9.9 million people visited the area in 2022.

Darren Tosh, Operations and Marketing Director at south Warwickshire's tourism board Shakespeare's England, commented: "Services such as Stratford Shopmobility have a crucial role to play in ensuring that our region's towns can be enjoyed by everybody, so it's encouraging to hear that they are reaching new people who either live in or want to visit Stratford-upon-Avon and its surrounding areas.

"We regularly host Elizabeth Dixon in our quarterly forums with other tourism businesses from the region, and we look forward to hearing more from her on this service and how other businesses can potentially support the work that they are doing."

For more information about Stratford Shopmobility visit the website.

Elizabeth Dixon Stratford Shopmobility equipment 

Contact details

Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire,
CV37 6HX
Tel: 01789 267575

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Last updated on 28/03/2024