Growing mobility charity seeks helpers

The Shopmobility Office in Maiden Street Car Park in Peterhead with some of the volunteers.
The Shopmobility Office in Maiden Street Car Park in Peterhead with some of the volunteers.

Peterhead Shopmobility is looking for volunteers to help give more disabled people the freedom of an independent life.

The charity, which is based in the Maiden Street car park, lends wheelchairs, walking frames and scooters to members of the public with limited mobility, enabling them to use public transport and visit local shops and services.

In the last year a total of 46 people have benefited from the loan of equipment, and have therefore been able to maintain a degree of independence in their lives. Scooter hires increased from 77 in the previous year to 170 in 2012/13.

However, despite the rapid growth there are many more people who are missing out because the charity needs more volunteers, improved equipment as well as some general redecoration.

Currently the office is only open in the mornings, and customers often mention that they would like to have the option of using the equipment in the afternoons as well. A few more regular volunteers would make this possible.

Volunteers are given training before they start and their role involves running the office administration, showing customers how to work the scooters and wheelchairs, charging scooter batteries and arranging maintenance and repairs.

The charity is aware that the portacabin from which it operates is in need of repair and helpers are sought for DIY and decorating.

Anyone with a little time and expertise who would be willing to fix a few holes, put up a display board, and freshen up the general appearance of the office would be very welcome.

The office is not large enough to house any additional scooters, but the current equipment is getting old and unreliable, with scooters spending increasing amounts of time being repaired and therefore unavailable for hire.

While fundraising is planned to raise money for replacement scooters, simple enhancements like rain hoods would enable users to make more use of the equipment all year round.

Peterhead Shopmobility would also welcome any donations of equipment, particularly wheelchairs. If necessary the equipment could be picked up.

Commenting on the service, regular user, Bill McQueen said: “It is a good service. I would have been lost without it. The scooter I borrowed allowed me to get all over Peterhead.”

Anyone with some time to spare, for either DIY or regular office work, should contact Susanne Fraser, development worker at Dial-a-Community Bus, Units 7 & 8 Community Service Centre, Market Street, Maud, on (01771) 619191 or through email at admin@dialabus.org,uk.