Happy New Year and welcome to 2019.1
It is all ‘go’ at the NFSUK HQ as we prepare the new membership packs to leave the office. We hope you had an enjoyable festive period with your loved ones and as a new year begins, it is time for new year’s resolutions. For some people, this will include resolutions such as giving more to charity or volunteering. We urge you to seek out your local shopmobility scheme and choose to support them during 2019.
Volunteering has many great benefits for the volunteer as well as the chosen charity. Volunteering is proven to help reduce stress and help combat depression. Volunteering connects you with people, can help with career advancements and it does not require a lot of your time. Volunteering for just a few hours is all it takes and it can make the world of difference to the charity at which you volunteer. You can use your current skills, for example, if you have website development skills, IT skills, finance skills or legal skills these could all be useful to your chosen charity. Volunteering your expertise means you may not even need to commit to a regular weekly time slot but instead be available on an ad-hoc basis.
The shopmobility network relies heavily on an army of volunteers. They dedicate their time and effort to ensure those with limited mobility are able to access mobility equipment to help them stay independent. Without the volunteers, most schemes would have to close. This means thousands of regular shopmobility users would be stuck, turning to friends or family to take on simple tasks like picking up prescriptions or groceries. For those without family or friends nearby this could be even more devastating and isolating. So if you are looking to do some volunteering this year consider shopmobility.
Giving financially to charity can also increase your sense of well-being, as well as make a significant difference to the charity you choose. Many big charities are able to advertise on the television, such as the ads for Cancer Research UK and for the marvellous Macmillan Nurses, two charities that are very worthy indeed. However, there are many small charities that don’t have the ability to get themselves in front of the nation in this way and shopmobility is one of them.
Shopmobility started out as a completely free service, offering mobility scooters and wheelchairs to anyone with a mobility impairment. From broken ankles to Arthritis, from breathing difficulties to old age, their target audience is not the elderly but anyone with a mobility impairment. It costs on average £47.5k to run a shopmobility with most schemes working with around 10k of local authority funding. This leaves a huge shortfall, which, has meant many schemes have had to set up charges and membership costs to help them stay open. Through these charges most schemes collect around 6k per year, this still doesn’t get them much closer to covering their costs. This means schemes have had to get creative with their fundraising and using third-party options like ‘Give as you Live’ or ‘Amazon Smile’ to try and boost their income. A lot of these third-party options can feel like a lot of effort for very little return, so if you are looking to support a small local charity this year then please consider supporting your local shopmobility. You can find your nearest National federation scheme by searching our website www.nfsuk.org.