1,000th customer for St Albans Shopmobility

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News release: 19 October 2009

St Albans Shopmobility, which provides battery powered scooters and manual wheelchairs on loan to people with limited mobility, has just secured its 1,000th customer.

St Albans Shopmobility, St Albans City and District Council

Caption: St Albans Shopmobility’s 1,000th customer, Jane Mason, being presented with flowers and a hamper by the Mayor of St Albans City and District, Cllr Chris Oxley and Pat Coleman, chair of Shopmobility.

Jane Mason of Stanhope Road, who has difficulties walking, has signed up to borrow an electric powered scooter from the charity.

She tried out the scooter for the first time at a special presentation by the Mayor for St Albans City and District, Cllr Chris Oxley, to celebrate the 1,000th customer for Shopmobility in St Albans.

Jane said: “It’s brilliant. I will use the scooter for shopping and going out for the day. It gives me independence and saves my daughter pushing my wheelchair.”

Shopmobility has been operating in St Albans for ten years and is funded by St Albans City and District Council and through donations. Anyone who has difficulty getting around through permanent or temporary disability, illness, accident or age can contact the scheme to borrow either an electric scooter for the day or a wheelchair for period of up to four weeks. Although the service is free, users are invited to make donations to help cover running costs.

St Albans Shopmobility is currently open on Tuesday to Saturday from 9.30am to 4pm.

Pat Coleman, the chair of St Albans Shopmobility, said: “The scheme gives freedom to people to get out and about independently. We need more volunteers to man the shop. We have just started to open on Saturdays, however, if we had more we would also open on Mondays.”

The Mayor said: “Those of us who are able to walk around our City Centre and carry our own purchases have little idea of how frustrating and inconvenient it is not to be able to do so. Shopmobility is a wonderful service and liberates those who have mobility problems. I would like to thank all the volunteers who work so hard to make the scheme so effective. I would also thank the shopkeepers for being so cooperative and supportive with wheelchair shoppers.”

Customers can book in advance to reserve a scooter or wheelchair by calling 01727-819339 or simply visit St Albans Shopmobility at the ground floor entrance to Drovers Way car park, off Catherine Street, during opening hours.

More information about Shopmobility is available on the Council’s website.

Contact for the mayor’s office:
Alison Orde, the Mayor’s Civic Officer
Tel: 01727 819544 E-mail: Alison.orde@stalbans.gov.uk

Contact for the press:
Amanda Wilkinson, Communication Officer
St Albans City and District Council
Tel: 01727 819317 E-mail: amanda.wilkinson@stalbans.gov.uk

St Albans Shopmobility is part of the National Federation of Shopmobility UK, a UK registered charity. There are similar schemes that operate in around 300 towns across the country.