Popular charity Lowestoft Shopmobility prepares to mark milestone

Lowestoft Shopmobility prepares to mark its 20th anniversary. Picture: Courtesy of Lowestoft Shopmob

Lowestoft Shopmobility prepares to mark its 20th anniversary. Picture: Courtesy of Lowestoft Shopmobility - Credit: Archant

It is a popular charity that has provided a vital service to the Lowestoft community.

And next week 20 years of Lowestoft Shopmobility will be marked in the town.

Shopmobility has been a prominent feature of life in Lowestoft by providing mobility scooters or electric wheelchairs to residents and visitors from its base at Station Square.

With the annual meeting of Lowestoft Shopmobility held next Thursday, June 29 at 2pm at Pakefield Church Hall, 20 years of the charity will be celebrated.

Margaret Oldham, chairman of Lowestoft Shopmobility, said: 'Since when we began, we have had a total number of 19,795 hires. So in the 20 years, almost 1,000 hires a year.'

A Shopmobility scheme for Lowestoft was established after a successful Lottery application in 1996. It led to Lowestoft Shopmobility opening on the town's railway station in April 1997, as part of DIAL – a disability information and advice service in Lowestoft and Waveney run by and for disabled people.

With the aim of Lowestoft Shopmobility to improve the quality of life for mobility impaired people – by giving them the freedom and independence to enjoy all the activities that able bodied people take for granted – the charity hires equipment to people across Waveney as well as those who are visiting or on holiday. After a Lottery continuation grant was awarded in 2000, the organisation became a separate charity in 2002 and moved to its current Station Square base in 2009.

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Mrs Oldham said: 'We know the scheme has made a lot of difference to a lot of people's lives, and it continues to do so. Whether it is local people with mobility problems who sign up to be a member for just £10 a year, and then borrow a pavement scooter or electric wheelchair for £3 each time they want to shop, visit the library or meet up with friends or family – or visitors to the town who hire our vehicles, all are made very welcome and tell us that the service is wonderful.'

If you would like to become a member of Lowestoft Shopmobility, to try a scooter for an afternoon, or to attend the 20th birthday party call Eddie on 01502 588857 or email lowestoftshopmob@btconnect.com

'Let's hope that Lowestoft Shopmobility can continue for another 20 years,' Mrs Oldham added.

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