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Freemasons donate £1,400 mobility scooter to Shopmobility in Touchwood

Heart of England Lodge 6549 have purchased and donated a £1,400 mobility scooter to Shopmobility in Touchwood, Solihull.  The scooter has a Square and Compass sticker clearly visible saying  “Donated by Members of Heart of England Lodge No.6549”. It was purchased via the Almoners charity account and was presented to Cathy Stoll, CEO Shopmobility on Tuesday 19th July 2016.

W Bro Mike Bowes presenting the keys to Cathy Stoll, CEO of Shopmobility with W Bro Andy McDarmaid
W Bro Mike Bowes presenting the keys to Cathy Stoll, CEO of Shopmobility with W Bro Andy McDarmaid

About Shopmobility

The donation allows the charity to continue its work with disabled and impaired people in the town, to ensure they have full access to all of the goods and services available to them within Solihull centre.

The Heart of England Lodge provided a brand new state-of-the-art scooter to add to its fleet. The donation marks one year since Solihull Borough Council withdrew its funding for the charity, funding it relied on to pay for staffing and which led to the closure of its unit in Mell Square.

The charity has since entered into a partnership with Touchwood Shopping centre, where the day-to-day operation of the service is undertaken by Touchwood staff. Following these changes the service has gone from strength to strength, and has seen membership numbers increase to well over 950 people.

Cathy Stoll, Solihull Shopmobility Chair comments: “The last year has been a period of considerable change for the charity, and we’re incredibly grateful to Touchwood for all of its continued help and support, in ensuring the success of such a vital service which so many people have come to rely on. It is recognised that our members and service users make a significant contribution to the local economy, and it is important that we continue to provide a service where there is equality of access to these facilities and businesses.

“So far this year we have been very fortunate having received two donations of equipment from local organisations, The Birmingham Airport Community Trust, and the Heart of England Lodge to whom we are incredibly grateful. Nevertheless, whilst the charity remains responsible for the maintenance and purchase of the scooters, we still need the help of other local businesses and organisations so that we are in a position to maintain and operate our fleet of 30 scooters. Without regular funding and donations, we will be unable to continue to operate the service beyond 2017.”

There is currently no charge for the Shopmobility service. Prior to last year, there used to be a membership fee of £12 per annum and a daily charge of £2 for scooter usage. It is asked that members donate using the collection tin provided on the desk when using the service, or alternatively consider making a regular donation through direct debit.

For more information or to become a member of the Solihull Shopmobility service, visit the desk in the Welcome Hall of the orange sector of the Touchwood car park, where the Touchwood staff will be happy to help.

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