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Autumn 2018Rochdale Shopmobility

Celebrating 25 years

10 September 2018 will mark 25 years since Rochdale Shopmobility opened its doors and began to provide an invaluable service to its members in the town centre.

Opening in September 1993 Shopmobility became a registered charity in June 1995, supplying members with mobility scooters and wheelchairs to access the town centre’s facilities with ease and enjoyment.

The organisation receives funding from charitable grant providers, from fees paid by its members and from fund-raising activities that are organised within the borough; helping to keep Rochdale Shopmobility viable in providing a service to its members day in, day out.

Current manager, Michelle Hollinrake, started in June 2002. She said: “We have up to one hundred members making around 2,000 trips in the town centre per year.

“Our services are for anybody with mobility problems, not just necessarily those who are registered disabled.

“Members using our scooters have gained confidence before purchasing one of their own or before hiring one on holiday.

“They also use the scooters for leisure, shopping, visiting the bank, meeting friends for a cup of tea, for lunch or to visit Rochdale’s Touchstones.”

Rochdale Shopmobility provides members with manual and electric powered wheelchairs, powered scooters and offers the help of volunteers to escort people with sensory disabilities. Members can use the facilities for up to three hours per day at the cost of £10 per year for membership.

The organisation vacated its previous site in the old bus station, so Rochdale Borough Council and Rochdale Development Agency could press ahead with the regeneration of the town centre.

The charity moved to a temporary site on Baillie Street whilst work on new premises took place, before officially moving into its permanent base on River Street in July 2015.

The new premises form part of a transport interchange with Rochdale bus station, the Metrolink stop and the River Street taxi rank all close by. A cycle hub, where people can safely stow their bikes, can also be found next to the Shopmobility premises.

The new building on River Street is part of the £250m regeneration of Rochdale Town Centre and has been purpose built for the charity.