A British Red Cross centre, which loans out vital mobility equipment for elderly and disabled people, is set to shut down on the 9th of November in Romsey, Hampshire.

The news comes following the announcement that the charity would be closing 11 of its centres across Hampshire between September and December.

The mobility aid centres provide older and disabled people with a variety of mobility products, such as wheelchairs and walking aids. However, according to the Romsey Advertiser, Red Cross bosses have stated that Hampshire will still have more units than any other county in the UK.

In response to the news, Romsey town bosses have remarked that it will be difficult for local residents to access the centres because of the closures.

Mayor of Romsey, Dorothy Baverstock, told the newspaper: “Geographically they do not seem to have thought this through and I suspect it is based purely on finance, not services they provide or are needed in an area.”

Celia Dowden, Councillor for North Baddesley ward, added: “The Red Cross has been a presence in North Baddesley for many many years. They have provided access to advice and much needed medical aids for local residents.

“It has been run by volunteers from the community, for the community, some of whom have been involved in this service for over 50 years.

“What a sad day for them. The closure is a sign of the times.”

In spite of the closures, the charity has said that it will explore other options such as a delivery service, pop-up shops and online ordering.

Aaron Stevens, Mobility Aids Manager at the Red Cross, said: “The British Red Cross needs to make sure we continue to deliver an effective mobility aids service for many years to come. Reducing the number of locations across Hampshire will help us use our resources wisely and allow us to deliver a cost-effective service reaching as many people as possible.

“Inevitably, these changes may cause some inconvenience to members of the public for which we’re very sorry.”

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