Shopmobility celebrates a 20-year landmark

In July 2003, a meeting was called by the late Keith Holloway from Thornbury about the possibility of setting up a Shopmobility Scheme in South Gloucestershire. He had seen such a scheme elsewhere and wanted to set one up here. The meeting took place in Dodington Parish Council Hall, and the planning started.

It took some time to get the scheme off the ground but it began operations in 2006, with Sue Gawler as the chair and Sheridan Crew as the Project Manager.

Therefore, on Thursday, July 20, Shopmobility South Gloucestershire will be holding a Drop In celebration event at its office at Yate Library in the Yate Shopping Centre from 2pm to 4pm. Please do visit.

Shopmobility South Glos Vice Chairman David Bell, who was at the original meeting in 2003, said: “I am so pleased that Shopmobility South Glos is still going strong after all these years. We have been able to help so many people in that time.”

Shopmobility trustee Linda Banister shares her story of working with the group: “My name is Linda and I am a trustee of Shopmobility in Yate Shopping Centre. What an incredible service this is!

“I survived bone cancer in 2020/1 and unfortunately had to lose a leg in the process. While recovering, a friend mentioned the Shopmobility service to me. She hired a scooter regularly for her mother-in-law when she came to visit.

“I visited Shopmobility and the lovely Sheridan Crew was kind and extremely helpful. He patiently showed me how to use the scooter, what to do and not to do, and how to dismantle it to go in the back of my friend’s Mini. It enabled me to go on my first holiday. What a fabulous experience. Thank you, Shopmobility and Sheridan. 

“This is why I volunteer as a trustee for this brilliant South Gloucestershire service. We are always looking for supporters, volunteers and helpers to keep this excellent service alive. All support is truly welcome. 

So for people who need a wheelchair or scooter, even just for a short period to take on holiday, go shopping, visit friends, go on a trip, look no further. We are here in Yate Shopping Centre.”

Janet Biggin, Chair of Shopmobility South Glos, added: “As Chairman of Shopmobility, I am very proud with the service we provide for people who wish to remain independent, in using our wheelchairs and mobility scooters to go shopping, visit friends, or needing to hire a wheelchair following surgery.

“We at Shopmobility are aware of the issues with isolation and know that our service helps to overcome this in allowing people to get ‘out and about’. We have received many compliments from our service users in being able to do things independently, which they really appreciate.”

Shopmobility South Glos is based in Yate Library in Yate Shopping Centre and provides mobility scooter and wheelchair hire on a daily or longer-term basis to help people who have limited mobility to retain their independence and to use the facilities of the centre and to access other services. The service helps users from all over South Gloucestershire and beyond.

Its opening hours are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, from 9.30am to 4pm. There is free daily hire with a concessionary bus pass.