Hereford Shopmobility sponsorship needed

Posted On 16 November 2014

The city of Hereford's Shopmobility Service, which provides mobility scooters and wheelchairs has taken a funding hit recently and almost closed in 2012.

The local charity, Services for Independent Living (SIL), stepped in to keep the service running but now desperately needs sponsorship from local businesses and individuals to ensure the service can continue after March 2015 – when funding will be cut again.

Euan McPherson, head of self directed support services with SIL, said: “Unfortunately the service cannot continue on just the hire charges alone, so we need to find a new longterm solution to fund it.

One man who would be particularly affected should the service end is Tony Weale, who has been using it for more than a decade.

The 69-year-old, who has had two hip replacements, two knee replacements and suffers from back pain, said: “It would alter my life completely because I can’t manage to walk far. I can get out and walk 100 to 150 yards but I can’t get into High Town. It would be a nightmare.”

SIL is asking local business to sponsor a scooter for £500 a year, offering a unique advertising platform in return.

“I think what we would like is to see the truly local businesses step up to the plate. It’s a mutual benefit as we could help them and they could help us,” said Mr McPherson.

He added that SIL is looking at increasing hire charges and improving efficiencies but added that much of the equipment needs replacing.

Hereford City Shopmobility has 900 registered local users and 75 visitors have used the service since January.

Any businesses interested in sponsoring can call Mr McPherson at SIL on 01568 616 653.

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