Our charity story…
The driving force behind its creation was Irene Bunce, a local wheelchair user. She dedicated much of her time to creating or campaigning for improved services for individuals with a disability. Twenty years of Shopmobility patrons say a huge thanks to you, Irene, wherever you are today.
The need for an extended service was identified about eight years ago as an opportunity to assist ourselves in the fundraising department. Thus, we started to take in used equipment for refurbishment, service and sale. This became our principle fundraising vehicle and we offer new products at very competitive prices. The need for a provider of disability products in Redhill was borne out by our growth and we have become more than just a provider of scooters and wheelchairs for visits to town. We have become like a service provider and offer appropriate advice ( where possible) for things disability as well as a range of products.
Today the Belfry Shopping Centre is our principle benefactor providing us with office, scooter charging room and storage facility. The charity is on its way to becoming self-sufficient but requires new blood in the form of trustees and volunteers.
Principle ingredient required by anyone working with us is time, empathy and the ability to listen to those in need.
It is of course impossible to name all those individuals who have contributed so significantly to making the first 20 years of Redhill Shopmobility such a success. Alongside Irene Bunce I will just mention John Chapman and Barry Samuels, both of whom contributed above and beyond the call of duty during times when the charity was not running quite so smoothly. During recent years Karl Grouse and Christine O’Donnell have run the office/shop daily, and have become well known to our service users and to many who are just passing through. We are indebted to two long term volunteers, John Saberi and Malcolm Boakes, whom are well known to Charity users. The Charity also thanks The Belfry Management team, including; Andy Nash, Kim Prime, Helen Smith, Linda Thomas, Steve, Kieran and the many Belfry staff who have always been very supportive.
Individual members and passers-by have contributed significantly to the cause. A wonderful example of generosity is that of the great Natalie Jordan who ran a marathon for us and raised nearly £2,000, thank you Natalie.
We look forward to offering our members and the general public quality service for many years to come.
By Gordon Jennings