9th Dec, 2016

Solihull Shopmobility saved by donations after council pulled the plug on funding

Shaun Reynolds 9th Aug, 2016 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016

BOROUGH businesses have stepped in to save the day after two generous donations helped saved a charity that works with disabled and impaired people.

Solihull Shopmobility will be able to continue allowing disabled people access to all of the goods and services available to them within Solihull centre.

Birmingham Airport Community Trust donated enough funds to the charity to enable them to purchase another power chair.

Furthermore, members of the Heart of England Lodge No. 6549 provided a brand new state-of-the-art scooter to add to its fleet.

The donations mark one year since Solihull Borough Council withdrew its funding for the charity, funding it relied on to pay for staffing and which led to the closure of its unit in Mell Square.

Since losing its Council funding, the charity has entered into a partnership with Touchwood Shopping centre – where the day-to-day operation of the service is undertaken by Touchwood staff.

Following these changes, the service has gone from strength to strength – and membership numbers have increased to well over 950 people.

Cathy Stoll, Solihull Shopmobility chair said the last 12 months has been a period of considerable change for the charity.

She added: “We’re incredibly grateful to Touchwood for all of its continued help and support in ensuring the success of such a vital service which so many people have come to rely on.

“So far this year we have been very fortunate having received two donations of equipment from local organisations to whom we are incredibly grateful.

“Nevertheless we still need the help of other local businesses and organisations so that we are in a position to maintain and operate our fleet of 30 scooters.

“Without regular funding and donations, we will be unable to continue to operate the service beyond 2017.”

Currently, there is no charge for the Shopmobility service.

It is asked that members donate using the collection tin provided on the desk when using the service – or alternatively consider making a regular donation through direct debit.

For further information about Solihull Shopmobility, visit the desk in the Welcome Hall of the orange sector of the Touchwood car park, where the Touchwood staff will be happy to help.