Fresh start as Lowestoft charity starts new era
A NEW era began this week for a popular Lowestoft charity.
Shopmobility has been a prominent feature of life in Lowestoft by providing powered vehicles and manual wheelchairs to residents and visitors from its base at Lowestoft Railway Station.
However, the charity has now moved to new premises a few yards from the station at 15 Station Square close to the town's bascule bridge.
On Monday, Waveney MP Peter Aldous officially opened the new Shopmobility premises.
'I am delighted that Shopmobility has found new premises in such a prominent position in the town as it provides such a vital service to the community,' said Mr Aldous.
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The Shopmobility scheme provides pavement scooters, electric wheelchairs and manual wheelchairs to people who have mobility problems. It is open Monday to Saturday from 9am until 3pm with a break for lunch from 12.30-1pm. The charity also has scooters for hire at the tourist information points in Lowestoft and Southwold.
'Many people would not be able to do their shopping, or visit the bank, post office, go along the seafront or socialise without this service. In addition we provide an excellent service to holidaymakers and visitors to the town,' said Shopmobility chairman Margaret Oldham.
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'We have these premises for just one year, which is all we can afford. The only funding we receive at the moment is from NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney.
'In most towns, the shopmobility schemes are funded either by the council or by the shopping centres themselves. We had no grant from Waveney District Council this year and the only shop to have contributed is Anglia Co-operative via the Westgate store,' she said.
Lowestoft Shopmobility has 52 full members, and last year had 634 hires of powered vehicles to members; 112 day hires to non-members; 107 holiday hires and 110 hires of manual wheelchairs.
l If anyone wants to support the scheme or would like further information please telephone 01502 588857 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.