Mobility vehicle donation made
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.