A scheme that provides mobility scooters and wheelchairs in Yate Shopping Centre is getting the word out about the vital help it provides to so many South Glos residents to lead independent lives thanks to the West of England Combined Authority, led by Metro Mayor Dan Norris.

As well as producing a brand-new poster for the much-loved group to encourage even more locals to try out the snazzy scooters to get around town, the Combined Authority is providing a further £2,000 cash injection each year, every year to help them weather the current economic storms.

Shopmobility was established 16 years ago and has become a lifeline for many older and disabled South Glos residents, helping them lead independent lives by visiting the shops, like anyone else.

Since its launch in 2006, hundreds of locals have registered with the scheme. The Combined Authority cash is in addition to the £5,000 it gives every year to enable anyone with a bus pass to use the Shopmobility Yate service completely free of charge.

But times have been tough for those running the scheme, says Shopmobility Chair Janet Biggin, with Covid and the cost-of-living crises seeing numbers drop to lower levels than before, which is why the promotional push fully funded by Mayor Norris is so important.

Ms Biggin showed Mayor Norris how the West of England Combined Authority funding and other support is making a difference when they met some of Shopmobility’s most loyal customers.

Mr Norris said: “If you need a bit of help to get around Yate, then you could always scoot your way to where you need to be. That’s the message I want to send out today. I’m pleased funding from the West of England Combined Authority means these vital services – which I know are a lifeline for so many Yate residents – will be able to make even more of a positive difference to people’s lives. It means even more people will be able to pop to the shops for their Christmas shopping this year and pass the time with friends. And it’s not just about shops; it is about helping more and more people feel they are part of their community. This support means Shopmobility can look to the future with great confidence”.

Anyone who wants to use the scheme can email shopmobilitysouthglos@yahoo.com or phone 01454 868718 or 07999 574474 for further information.

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