From left to right: Stephanie Ormerod, vice-chair of Shopmobility Stockport; councillor Tom McGee; the mayor of Stockport, councillor Walter Brett; (standing) the mayoress, Mrs Maureen Brett; Darren Dalby-Oldham, chair of Shopmobility Stockport; Sam Smith, trustee and marketing director of Shopmobility Stockport. Sorry, we can’t tell you what the joke was!
Article and image supplied by Stockport Shopmobility
On Monday 2nd July, the mayor of Stockport, councillor Walter Brett, successfully completed his scooter challenge along with Councillor Tom McGee.
This now annual event requires the new mayor to undergo a full British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) mobility assessment before being conducted on a tour of the shopping centre by Shopmobility Stockport vice-chair Stephanie Ormerod. This year the mayor was joined by Councillor McGee who was accompanied on the tour by Shopmobility Stockport trustee and marketing director Sam Smith. By doing this local councillors experience what it is like to use the town centre from a disabled person’s point of view. An eye opening experience for any able bodied person.
When the Mayor was asked at the end, what was the one thing that he would take away from the scooter challenge? He responded,’ You’re invisible!’ (even with a chain of office!).
Many who use the shopmobility service are among the most vulnerable people within your community, the hire of equipment allows them to retain some independence and personal dignity, please be aware of scooter users when your in town and give them a smile so they know they have been seen. In a world where everyone is become more isolated by their devices taking the time to look up and smile is more important than ever.
To find out more about Stockport Shopmobility check out their website www.shopmobilitystockport.co.uk
July 13, 2018 | Donna Eade
Last year saw Breahead shopmobility in Glasgow winner the Tom Hillier award for the 3rd time since it’s inception in 1991. This year we are hoping for a wider federation participation so if you use a shopmobility scheme and they are a member of the NFSUK then please download a form HERE to enter them for the award. Once you have filled in the form take it to your scheme and hand it in. This year schemes have to self nominate too, we know there is a lot they do that not even their clients see. Things behind the scenes that help to make the scheme great, so please encourage your scheme to nominate themselves and bow their own trumpet they deserve too wouldn’t you say?
The award is presented at the prestigious British Healthcare Trades Awards which is hosted annually by the British Healthcare Trades Association. Usually held in London this year the awards ceremony is travelling North to the Alton Towers Hotel where Simon Weston, former solider and Falklands war survivor will be presenting the awards. It is a chance for those involved in the healthcare industry to be recognised for their efforts and innovations and a chance to celebrate an industry where caring for others is at the heart. Whether that be, providing a stair lift, so that someone can remain in the home they love, creating prosthesis, to enable someone to take part in day to day activities that would otherwise be impossible, or loaning someone a scooter so that they can maintain their independence and sense of well being. This industry is special and Shopmobility plays an important part.
It is great to to celebrate our achievements and successes and having shopmobility schemes attend the awards is such a pleasure for the NFSUK, we of course want to have our winner there to collect the award in person so we hope the move out of London will encourage more schemes to attend this year.
July 6, 2018 | Donna Eade
With these expert tips
Guest Post by Jason Whatling of Peterborough Shopmobility and BHTA member Company The Mobility Aids Centre
More often than not, going on holiday can be a stressful ordeal, rather than the relaxing vacation you hoped for. From fitting everything you will need into a box, to leaving the house unattended for a long period of time, there is always something to worry about.
However, this is nothing compared to the stress of getting all your mobility equipment carefully passed airport customs and trusting the airport staff to look after you and your mobility aids. Whether this is carrying your possessions onto the plane or in some cases, physically lifting you onto the plane themselves, you have to put so much faith in other people.
As you may have seen for yourself, there has been a handful of publicised issues where passengers travelling with disabilities have encountered unwanted problems when it comes to getting through the airport.
The type of problems that could be encountered range from proving your unseen disability to your special disability equipment being mistreated or handled. Of course, that is the tip of the iceberg, as there is a broad range of issues that can arise.
Therefore, you may be wondering just how you can avoid having a stressful holiday? Well, look no further, because below is expert advice for stress-free traveling with a disability.
Notify the Airport 48 hours in advance
Did you know the EU laws state that, if you have reduced mobility, you are entitled to assistance, free of charge? That includes getting on and off the plane, during the flight and in airports before and after the flight.
However, you must provide this information more than 48 hours before your flight. So, do not feel like you are being burdensome. You are, in fact, helping the airport staff by allowing them enough time to prepare for your special requirements.
Provide as much information as possible
The more information you can provide, the more prepared and stress-free the airport can make your travelling experience. This includes details of your disability and any special requirements that you may have. A good idea would be clarifying this information through email. This way, it gives the staff a source to go to in case they have forgotten anything. It also gives you the opportunity to prove the information you have supplied if the unfortunate event arises where they are not put in place.
Pay for specialist travel Insurance
Getting quality travel insurance for someone with a pre-existing medical condition or disability is notoriously difficult, but it is essential. We would recommend using Mark Bates Ltd. The website is clear and easy to navigate around and, on top of that, they provide fair prices with specialist knowledge and support for disabilities of all kinds.
Book with a specialist travel agent
If you book through a specialist travel agent, they will make sure your holiday and travels run as smooth as possible. On top of that, they will also do all the work for you, so you won’t have to worry about informing the airport before the flight.
Remember spare parts and tools
Some of your mobility equipment may need to be dismantled to fit on the flight. For example, wheelchairs need to be folded or dismantled before putting them into the undercarriage. They may even need emergency repairs during your holiday. That’s why taking a small kit of tools to help with this will speed up the process and also improve your traveling experience.
Check out the BHTA Air Transport Advice’s website for further information on how to best disassemble your equipment for a flight.
Check out the BHTA Get Wise to Flying with a Disability
With thanks to The Mobility Aids Centre, you can check out their website HERE.
April 13, 2018 | Donna Eade
Does having a disability put you off going on holiday? Does it feel like too much effort to research the hotel’s, transportation and area to see if you could get around easily? It can be difficult when you know a place says it’s accessible but then you discover there are stairs or a very steep hill to navigate before you get there. Discoveries like this can ruin your holiday and that is where tourism for all comes in. They provide disabled tourists and travellers with a personalised information and advice service. Although they’re not travel agents they help disabled people plan and take holidays and breaks – both in the UK and overseas – with confidence. You can check out their website at www.tourismforall.org.uk
Everyone deserves to get away and enjoy their holiday tourism for all can help you do that.
March 19, 2018 | Donna Eade
It is with great sadness that we inform you of the closure of Wigan and Leigh Shopmobility. After 30 years of serving their community, they were unable to secure funding to retain the service that had been apart of the community for so long. You can read more on their website page HERE.
It is a great loss both to the local community and to the NFSUK. We urge you all to support your local schemes as much as possible whether that is through a donation of money, time, or other. These services are so vital for the people who use them, they are often vulnerable members of the community trying to maintain their independence.
One way you can support your local scheme, if you have a scooter of your own, is by registering your scooter on the National Mobility Register, £6 of your registration fee goes to your chosen scheme. The register is there to help prevent theft and aid in recovery and was set up by the NFSUK in March 2017. This register is for scooters and power chairs and registration is done online. You can find out or register your vehicle HERE
February 5, 2018 | Donna Eade
L-R: June Caffyn Littlehampton Manager, Alan Gammon Littlehampton Trustee, Donna Eade NFSUK, Patricia Naismith Braehead, Christine Olsen Braehead Manager, Claire McMackin High Wycombe.
Congratulations to Braehead Shopmobility in Glasgow who took home this year’s Tom Hillier Award.
On the 30th of November Representatives from the healthcare industry gathered together at the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel to celebrate 2017 and those who made it a great year. Hosted by the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) and compared by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson the awards recognised marketing campaigns, products, services and individuals. Among those awards presented on the night was the NFSUK Tom Hillier Award. This year the Judging panel chose not only to award the trophy to the most exceptional scheme but also to recognise some of the schemes who showed outstanding service to the public.
Highly Commended schemes were:
High Wycombe Shopmobility
A special award was issued to Alan Gammon and Littlehampton Shopmobility for their outstanding contribution to the National Mobility Register (www.nmruk.org). The award recognised Littlehampton as the pilot scheme for the register which was nationalised in March 2016.
It was a great evening of celebration for all the hard work everyone had put in over the last 12 months and we were delighted to have 3 of our schemes in attendance to collect their awards.
December 13, 2017 | Donna Eade
The NFSUK is managed by the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) and as such members of the NFSUK sign up to abide by the BHTA Code of Practice. This Code of Practice is overseen by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) and this means those signed up to the code promise
- Not to pressure sell
- Not to cold call
- Not to sell anything to you that isn’t fit for purpose
This is why the NFSUK recommends buying from a BHTA member. To help you easily find BHTA retailers, we have now introduced BHTA retailer companies to our website. All you have to do is click on the categories above the map on the home page and select Retailer, this will bring up all the current BHTA retailers we have listed. You can then filter this by adding the town you wish to shop in, into the search bar to see if there are any local to you. We hope that the list of retailers will increase over the coming months so please check back regularly for the most up to date listings.
You can tell a BHTA member by the display of the BHTA and CTSI logo seen to the right. Members will often have this logo on their website and displayed within their stores.
If you have any questions regarding this new feature or questions about BHTA members then please email us at email@example.com and we will try our best to answer them for you.
November 29, 2017 | Donna Eade
Every Penny Counts
The National Federation of Shopmobility is a non-profit organisation, we are lucky to have members of the public who wish to donate to the work we do and help us help shopmobility schemes across the UK. Until now we haven’t had an easy way that this can be done, however, last week our donation button went live on our website. You can now donate easily with any major credit or debit card through our PayPal account. You do not have to set up a PayPal account to do this and you can decide how much you donate.
November 10, 2017 | Donna Eade
If you have a local scheme we would love for you to donate directly to them. However, if you don’t have a local scheme or you want your donation to benefit as many schemes as possible then we would be glad to accept your donation to further the work we do with shopmobility schemes.
To donate just hit the donate button on the right-hand side of this page and PayPal will walk you through the process step by step. We are not able to claim gift aid as we don’t charge VAT.
BHTA, NFSUK Staff, along with Chairman of Littlehampton Shopmobility and last years winners Basingstoke Shopmobility
If you haven’t voted for your scheme you have until tomorrow to do so. The Tom Hillier Award is an award that recognises outstanding service within the National Federation of Shopmobility. Every scheme in the federation is eligible and it is you the public who tell us why your scheme should win. Shopmobility is a unique experience and we get lots of entries telling us how wonderful the staff are and how helpful and friendly they are. All schemes should be very proud of the fact they are known for their great customer service.
However, the Tom Hillier Award needs something that goes above and beyond this to set the scheme apart from the others. So if your scheme has helped you in a way that goes above and beyond the usual great service they provide do let us know. And if you’re too late to tell us this year save it and let us know next year.
This year the Tom Hillier award will be presented at the British Healthcare Trades Awards Dinner hosted by the BHTA (British Healthcare Trades Association) and is being held in London and Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson will be presenting the awards. The very best of luck to all those who have entered this year and Thank You for another year of super customer service.
September 29, 2017 | Donna Eade
We will be posting news from the NFSUK and also from our members, so stay tuned and check back often.
You may have noticed we have a countdown timer for the deadline of Tom Hillier award nominations on the right of the page. If you haven’t yet nominated your scheme go to the public information tab above and click on the Tom Hillier Award and you can download your form or nominate online HERE
We will be sharing information on the National Mobility Registration Scheme owned by the NFSUK for the benefit of its members and you can find out more about that service over on the NMR site at www.nmruk.org
Did you know we have printed the Shopmobility directory again for the first time since 2012 there is a new magazine available at all member schemes so drop in today and get yours. Priced at a recommended £4.99 the magazine is full of interesting articles and news as well as containing an up to date list of all the schemes that are joined to the NFSUK.
If you have your copy we would love to hear what you think? We have created a short survey that will take no more than 3 minutes to fill in. Please give us your opinion and feedback so we can make the magazine even better. Your opinions matter please fill in the survey below.
August 4, 2017 | Donna Eade