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Basingstoke Mayor issues plea to help Shopmobility
THE borough’s mayor has called on the council to keep supporting the much-valued Shopmobility service in Basingstoke.
Councillor Martin Biermann made his comments at an event designed to give able-bodied people the chance to experience what it is like to use a Shopmobility scooter when they took part in an annual trundle.
About 15 people joined the Shopmobility event, including Cllr Biermann and his wife Chansopha. The pair joined volunteers on the electric wheelchairs to go on an hour’s journey from the charity’s base in Church Street, up to Milestones Museum and back again.
Cllr Biermann said: “Shopmobility is an essential Basingstoke service. Recent national events have highlighted the need to be aware of people with different needs and we are catering for that in Basingstoke.
“It’s a shame that at times they (Shopmobility) have challenges and find it difficult to continue, and I hope the council will bear that in mind and support what they do.”
Following the trundle, Shopmobility held its annual general meeting, and thanked volunteers for their support.
Tom Gilvear, chairman of the charity, said: “The trundle is an opportunity for the volunteers to go out with the scooters and gives them a better understanding of some of the obstacles real users may encounter. We can talk from experience when talking to our customers.”
About 30 people use Shopmobility every day, and the charity has 3,000 registered users.
It costs about £55,000 a year to run, a key amount of which comes from a borough council grant, but the vast majority is generated through fundraising.