Mo­bil­ity ve­hi­cle do­na­tion made

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Uk&world Update - By MATTHEW REVILLE matthew.reville@pe­ter­bor­oughto­ @ET_REVILLE

PEO­PLE with dis­abil­i­ties will be able to get their shop­ping done in com­fort thanks to a gen­er­ous do­na­tion from a com­mu­nity group.

Peter­bor­ough Shop­mo­bil­ity, which is based on Level 2 of Queens­gate Shop­ping Cen­tre, was cho­sen as one of its char­i­ties of the year by Peter­bor­ough Lions.

Shop­mo­bil­ity is a scheme that hires out scoot­ers and elec­tric chairs to peo­ple who face dif­fi­cul­ties in get­ting around the city.

The Peter­bor­ough Lions handed over a cheque for £2,200 yes­ter­day, which has been spent on buy­ing two brand new scoot­ers and a pair of new wheel­chairs.

Peo­ple will be able to rent them for the day to get around Peter­bor­ough city cen­tre for no cost, al­though most users of­fer the com­pany a vol­un­tary do­na­tion.

Shop mo­bil­ity man­ager and Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil­lor John Fox said he was blown away with the group’s gen­eros­ity.

Cllr Fox said: “The do­na­tion came com­pletely out of the blue, and it was such a shock. I was re­ally over­whelmed.

“We rely on do­na­tions, ei­ther fi­nan­cial or scoot­ers from peo­ple af­ter they die - which is where we get most of our ve­hi­cles. There is a lot of wear and tear, so it is im­per­a­tive to re­place our ve­hi­cles.

“So to get two brand new scoot­ers, which cost about £750, and two new wheel­chairs, which are about £300, is just fan­tas­tic.

“We have been go­ing 30 years and this is one of the big­gest do­na­tions we have ever got. We get money from the city coun­cil and Queens­gate, but this is a huge amount to get from another or­gan­i­sa­tion.”

Gaby Shar­man, pres­i­dent of Peter­bor­ough Lions, said: “We do fund-rais­ing events all through the year and then it is the pres­i­dent’s de­ci­sion what good causes should ben­e­fit.

“I know all about Peter­bor­ough Shop­mo­bil­ity be­cause my hus­band used their ve­hi­cles be­fore he passed away. With­out them, a lot of peo­ple would strug­gle to get around, so I thought it was a very wor­thy cause.

“In to­tal we raised more than £4,000 this year, and have also do­nated money to the Soup Kitchen.”

In to­tal, Peter­bor­ough Shop­mo­bil­ity now has 23 scoot­ers, four power chairs, and 38 wheel­chairs. The group’s 26 vol­un­teers process about 6,000 rentals per year.

Cllr Fox added: “The mes­sage peo­ple should get is that no­body has to be a pris­oner in their own home.

“We do take vol­un­tary do­na­tions from the users - we could charge them, but we don’t want to make them stop get­ting out to the shops.”

Peo­ple with mo­bil­ity is­sues can also ac­cess help from Com­mu­nity Link, which is Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil’s ur­ban doorto-door ser­vice.

The ser­vice will col­lect peo­ple from their home, drop them off in the city cen­tre or a su­per­mar­ket and pick them up again for their re­turn jour­ney.

Sara Thomp­son, team man­ager of the city coun­cil’s pas­sen­ger trans­port op­er­a­tions, said: “We are pleased to hear of the do­na­tion that Shop­mo­bil­ity has re­ceived from Peter­bor­ough Lions, which will hope­fully en­able even more peo­ple to use this valu­able ser­vice.

“We work closely with Shop­mo­bil­ity through the Com­mu­nity Link scheme which col­lects peo­ple with lim­ited mo­bil­ity from their homes and takes them into the city cen­tre. Work­ing to­gether we can en­sure, upon re­quest, that a wheel­chair or mo­bil­ity scooter is wait­ing at the bus sta­tion when a pas­sen­ger ar­rives.

Mem­ber­ship costs £5 per per­son or £7.50 for a cou­ple per year. For more in­for­ma­tion call the city coun­cil’s Pas­sen­ger Trans­port Op­er­a­tions Team on 01733 317460.

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