A charity serving hundreds of vulnerable shoppers in East Kilbride today revealed it has made the ‘difficult’ decision to suspend the town’s vital Shopmobility service.
Health and Active East Kilbride (formerly Older and Active in East Kilbride) said Lanarkshire Live the future of the service is uncertain due to a lack of funding.
EK, East Kilbride, where the association is based, has not yet seen its budget confirmed for this exercise leaving the service “unsustainable” for the association which has been self-financing Shopmobility for several weeks.
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The Shopmobility service was suspended from 4 p.m. on Sunday May 1.
Charity director Lesley MacIntryre tell us “As Town Center management have yet to confirm their budget for this financial year, Healthy and Active East Kilbride – in the interest of vulnerable people who use Shopmobility – has fully funded the service since the end of financial year 2021/ 22.
“The current situation is of course not sustainable for a charity like ours and we are working closely with the town center management in the hope that a solution can be found without further delay.
“The charity has a duty to ensure that we protect our other services, which are unaffected and continuing as normal.
“Unfortunately, as we don’t have funding in place yet, we had to make the decision to suspend service from Sunday May 1 at 4pm.
“This was a difficult and emotional decision for the trustees of the charity, and we will reopen as soon as we have funding guarantees in place.”
Working from two locations in the city center (Centre West and Hub/Olympia), Healthy and Active East Kilbride was originally launched as East Kilbride and District Shopmobility in 2003.
A mental health support program is just one part of a suite of services that, combined, are used more than 40,000 times a year.
The charity service is run by staff and volunteers and offers manual and electric wheelchairs and scooters on loan to members of the public with reduced mobility.
A minibus collection and collection service is available for registered users from Monday to Friday.
They also have taxis for small children, a minibus service and The Meeting Place community center.
Building on the basic installation of Shopmobility, the meeting place was introduced in 2012.
Over the years this important community centre/café has become a vital service for thousands of elderly and disabled service users, who prior to the coronavirus situation met regularly for a coffee and the chance to share stories with friends.
The Meeting Place also offers a range of complementary services, including arts and crafts, computer lessons and gaming sessions.
A range of health and wellness services have also proven extremely popular over the years with tai chi, health walks, self-management classes, complementary therapies, podiatry, physiotherapy and l ‘acupuncture.
A spokesperson for EK, East Kilbride tell us “We fully understand the difficulties encountered by the Shopmobility service.
“The past few years have been extremely difficult for the charitable sector, as they have been for retail and town centers across the country.
“These are unprecedented times and we are working hard to support the local community where we can.
“There are a lot of pressures on the centre’s finances, however, we are working to find a solution whereby we can continue to offer some funding to support Healthy and Active as they continue to seek sources of funding. additional.
“It is unfortunate that Healthy and Active had to fund the service from its reserves for a few weeks, however, we have assured the charity that we are working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.”
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