Luton Shopmobility all smiles and passion in the face of adversity1
On 9th May 1991 Luton Shopmobility was entered into the Register of Charities – No. 1002805 , 28 years later we’re still going strong.
This is due to the vision of the people who started the charity all those years ago and all the current staff/volunteers who are proud to be part of this successful charity.
Many things have changed since that day in 1991. The National Lottery funded an extension to the facility in the Market Car Park. London Luton Airport Ltd has contributed towards the running costs from 2004 until 2016.
We have had to repair much of our equipment over the years and some became uneconomical to repair.
Over the past few years we have been lucky enough to receive grants towards the purchase of nine new scooters.
Through this service we can demonstrate our commitment to the Luton community. We’re creating an environment in which the individual difference of all our users is recognised & valued.
With the support of the mobility equipment we facilitate an increase in the number of people living in the community, who are isolated due to disability or frailty to access all the town centre business’s & shops.
Our prime objectives are to help restore self-confidence, combat loneliness and social exclusion. Also to give freedom and independence to the lives of less mobile people.
For us, “Independent living” means all disabled people, having the same freedom, choice and dignity as other citizens.
Becoming Self Sufficient
In early 2016 we lost a major funding stream which has made a huge difference to our charity.
Following a complete restructure we closed our charity shop in the Mall. The Shopmobility service is no longer open on Saturdays and we implemented a charging scheme.
We now charge £1.00 per hour with an Annual Membership of £12.00 rising to £15 in April 2020. Non-members are charged £2.00 per hour.
During our last financial year we reduced the total expenditure by 7.5% (and by 26% during 2018).
We now have three members of staff – one full time manager & two part time assistants.
Luckily we have a number of excellent volunteers which is a huge bonus to us.
All of us are passionate about the service we provide to our customers and this is obvious to our customers.
Many of our customers come into the town three or four times a week.
We are members of the Luton Dementia Action Alliance and all our staff & volunteers are trained Dementia Friends.
Without Luton Shopmobility our customers would be unable to maintain their independence when visiting Luton.
Luton being the place where they choose to live, shop, support local businesses & take part in events.
Raising our profile in Luton
In May 2019 we joined the Luton Carnival around the town collecting donations & promoting the charity.
A brilliant day enjoyed by staff, volunteers & lots of our customers driving the scooters.
We have booked again for this year’s Carnival which will be held on Friday 8th May to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
This year we are not dressing our scooters but are all going to be wearing 40’s style outfits.
In July 2019 we thoroughly enjoyed being involved in the High Town Festival
2020 will be our third year in the High Town Festival, it’s a fabulous atmosphere, a great event and our staff & volunteers are really looking forward to it.
We also take part in Elf day and Christmas Jumper day to get into the spirit of the season.
Huge Thanks to Luton
To our Volunteers who help us raise funds in many ways such as knitting poppies for the British Legion (rising money for others) and to customers like Shirley who do things like knitting us Easter bunnies and chicks that contain a Cadbury creme egg. Without support from the community we wouldn’t be able to provide our much needed and relied upon services so thank you.