Does the mobility market need to think bigger?

PIC: Steve Baker


Is the mobility market creating enough products to cater to a society that is getting bigger? Warrington Disability Partnership’s Chief Executive Dave Thompson and People First Mobility’s Karen Sheppard asks the question.

Charity Warrington Disability Partnership runs Shopmobility Warrington, providing shoppers with mobility issues with access to mobility scooters and wheelchairs.

The charity’s equipment allows for a maximum weight of 35-stone, however, it recently told the Warrington Guardian that that a number of scooters and wheelchairs have been damaged as a result of people over that maximum weight limit using the equipment, forcing the shopmobility to turn people over this limit away.

Dave Thompson told the Warrington Guardian: "There is a growing concern within society today that people are getting bigger, and unfortunately the mobility scooter market has not kept pace with this.

"If people over 35st were to use the equipment it could do damage to them and damage to the piece of kit itself, which would then be out of action for dozens of people.”

This sentiment was shared by People First Mobility’s Karen Sheppard, who told THIIS in the January issue’s Retailer Spotlight that one of the biggest challenges facing the industry is the need to make equipment for heavier people more readily available.

Karen told THIIS: "Peoples weight are increasing due to medical conditions and medications, so more bariatric options for products are needed.

"Bariatric products that are available are usually expensive and I understand that they have to be but the range and options available are often very limited for our customers.”

Warrington Disability Partnership is now aiming to raise £6,000 to purchase a mobility scooter with a maximum weight limit of 65-stone, with Dave Thompson putting out a call to any organisations, individuals or businesses that are able to provide small donations to help.

To get in contact with Dave, email or call 01925 240064

To find out more about People First Mobility, visit the website HERE