Jane Ellison MP Tries Volunteering at Shopmobility

Jane Ellison MP at ShopmobilityWandsworth Shopmobility provides regular shopping trips for elderly and disabled people in Wandsworth and uses an award-winning team of volunteers to help push wheelchairs and give a helping hand. They were delighted to welcome Battersea MP, Jane Ellison, and give her a taste of how the service works and what the volunteers actually do. Jane was keen to get involved and help one of the shoppers, (Margaret Howden, pictured), and after a quick wheelchair training session, was soon cruising the supermarket aisles, and filling her trolley.

“It was quite an eye-opener seeing how busy they were at Shopmobility, with the volunteers doing such a great job” said Ms Ellison. “It was obvious that her weekly shopping trip was really important to Mrs Howden, and it was great to be able to help her.”

Shopmobility have over 1,000 service users and always need new volunteers to help out. They really hope that the example shown by their local MP will encourage new people to come and join in.

“We are always looking for new volunteers, as well as people who need to use our services” said Shopmobility Manager, Marcia Millington. “Anyone in Wandsworth who finds it difficult to use public transport can join and membership is free. As well as our regular shopping trips we do trips out to the coast and other places of interest. We provide wheelchairs and electric scooters and of course a marvellous volunteer to help if you need one.

Many of our passengers would be stuck indoors if it wasn’t for our volunteers and it is difficult to stress how important a role they play in keeping people active and independent, out and about, meeting people and making new friends. Anyone who wants to help or use the service should give us a call on 020-8875 9585 and give it a try.”

Background Information

  1. The visit took place on Wednesday 1st August 2012. Pictured are Battersea MP Ms Jane Ellison and Shopmobility member Mrs Margaret Howden.
  2. Wandsworth Shopmobility is based at Sainsbury’s Supermarket Garratt Lane SW18, and is operated by Wandsworth Community Transport (WCT) and funded by Wandsworth Borough Council. They won the Queens Golden Jubillee Award in 2002.
  3. Wandsworth Shopmobility provides electric scooters and manual wheelchairs along with volunteers to push them. It also runs a door-to-door accessible minibus service that takes elderly and disabled Wandsworth residents to the Town Centre.
  4. WCT has over 1000 passenger members, and most of these regularly use their Shopmobility service. Latest figures show that more than 11,000 return passenger trips are completed each year. The 90 volunteers involved in the project, help by driving the minibuses and pushing wheelchairs etc.
  5. WCT provides accessible minibuses to community groups and individuals in Wandsworth. In addition, WCT offers trips to elderly and disabled residents of the borough. Application forms for membership may be obtained by telephoning WCT on 020-8675 3812.