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Shopmobility Shrewsbury, in Shropshire, which offers a mobility equipment loaning service as well as support disabled and elderly shoppers, is being forced to close after over two decades of service.

A fall in demand and a lack of funding have been cited as the main reasons for closure, which have been described as a “heavy blow” to the Shropshire charity. Shopmobility Shrewsbury will continue to operate until June 2019.

Shopmobility aims to provide an inclusive shopping experience for disabled and elderly people through a mobility device hire service, including scooters, wheelchairs and powerchairs.

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Gillian Bradley, Shopmobility Shrewsbury Coordinator, said that the number of people using the service had declined dramatically over the last five years and described the closure as “inevitable.”

She told the Shropshire Star: “We have served the town for 23 years and there are lots of factors that have led to this very hard decision. It seems the service is just not needed as it was.

“But we are hoping that someone will take it up and run it in the future. It is a very sad decision and we hope there will be some sort of service for the town.”

The Shrewsbury service is currently run by volunteers.

“We have tried hard to keep going and we will struggle on until June but we want to let as many people as possible know that we will be closing,” Gillian added.

“Figures of people using the service have been falling over a long period of time. People are finding other ways to get around.

“This is a problem that many Shopmobility services are experiencing and many have shut. To do 23 years in the town is amazing but it just isn’t viable for us anymore. Hopefully someone will step in to the breach. It was the only decision we could take.”

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