William Merritt Centre, ShopMobility: ShopMobility UK Scheme of the Month (September 2021)
William Merritt Centre’s ShopMobility is a popular and successful service that provides eight mobility scooters and four manual wheelchairs for hire in and around Leeds. Available for short- or long-term loans, these reliable products ensure people with walking difficulties can access shops and local amenities without worry or discomfort. The centre also provides a range of […]
William Merritt Centre’s ShopMobility is a popular and successful service that provides eight mobility scooters and four manual wheelchairs for hire in and around Leeds.
Available for short- or long-term loans, these reliable products ensure people with walking difficulties can access shops and local amenities without worry or discomfort. The centre also provides a range of mobility products for purchase.
As part of its caring and dedicated service, the ShopMobility team at the William Merit Centre offers a ‘collect by car’ service. This involves transit of customers, in an accessible vehicle, from the train station and bus stops to the centre so they can benefit from a seamless journey.
Due to increasing demand, the William Merritt Centre began its ShopMobility services in 2018 following a request by Leeds City Council (LCC) to fill a service provision gap. Negotiations to fund the project for two years were completed between LCC, Ross Care and Town Centre Securities which meant the service was supported up until September 2020. Due to funding challenges caused by the pandemic, financial support could not continue however the William Merritt Centre has been able to maintain the service within its building until LCC find an alternative location. Valued volunteers, such as Guy Moxon, help to keep ShopMobility operating. Guy has used the service twice a week for over 15 years and as part of his volunteering role, supports other customers whilst pro-actively promoting ShopMobility.
Customers of ShopMobility Leeds have said:
“It was chaotic when there was no local ShopMobility service for me to get outdoors. My independence was severely restricted and I began to feel socially isolated. It’s good we have a mobility service as it gives me the option to get about a great deal more and when I want to.”
“If ShopMobility wasn’t open I wouldn’t be going anywhere. It allows me to get out and do my daily routine.”
“Marvellous, nothing really else to say, it is just marvellous.”
“Helps me do my shopping, wouldn’t be able to otherwise.”
As the service moves forward, the William Merritt Centre will be exploring opportunities across the city to ensure disabled people have equal access to shops and attractions. The team will also be focusing on methods to combat social isolation. This has already instigated discussions in other parts of the city including Kirkstall, which also includes places of leisure interest that can be visited.
If you are local to the Leeds area and want to find out more about how the William Merritt Centre – ShopMobility could help you or someone you know please visit: www.shopmobilityuk.org/centres/view/william-merritt-centre/
William Merritt Centre – ShopMobility,
Unit 82a, Merrion Way,
Leeds, West Yorkshire,
Tel: 0113 350 8682