Chris Cox and Chris French Directors at Cinque Ports Mobility
Chris Cox and Chris French, Directors at Cinque Ports Mobility

Folkestone-based Cinque Ports Mobility has been applauded by its customers and local community partners for continuing to provide essential services to vulnerable people throughout the COVID-19 lockdown.

The company, which boasts a showroom and Independent Living Centre in Kent, took the decision to remain open after the closure of the most retail stores across the country in response to the coronavirus outbreak in March.

As a distributor of medical equipment, the retailer, along with its partners at Kent Occupational Therapy, continued to provide vital services throughout the crisis.

“Since the outbreak of the pandemic, we have been committed to supporting our customers, as well as local vulnerable residents and healthcare workers,” explained Chris Cox, Managing Director of Cinque Ports Mobility.

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“Our goal is to provide caring solutions that enable people to enjoy greater independence, at a time when we all need to be able to make the most of our limited opportunities to get out and about.”

During the lockdown, mobility retailers across the country responded in a variety of ways, from completely shutting their physical premises to limiting opening hours and moving to a booking-only system.

For Cinque Ports Mobility, the decision to remain operational, rather than shutting shop and furloughing its staff, did come at a cost, noted Cox.

“Of course, turnover has dropped but it’s not about profit in these times, it’s about being available for the people who need us. It has been a team effort supporting our local community and my colleagues and I are well aware of how important the products and services we provide are to customers with mobility and associated daily living issues,” he continued.

“We have continued to carry out all essential visits, while adhering to social distancing guidelines and wearing full PPE to keep ourselves and our clients safe. These visits have enabled many local individuals to remain independent and safe in their own homes during this unprecedented time.”

The commitment to remain open and available to its local community has led to the retailer receiving praise from its local customers, particularly in regards to repairs for essential equipment such as wheelchairs.

In addition, Cinque Ports Mobility provided support to the White Cliffs Country & Romney Marsh Division of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity which provides lifelong support to service personnel, veterans and their families.

Robin Aaronricks, Divisional Secretary at SSAFA, said: “Cinque Ports Mobility has provided two wheelchairs free of charge for my clients since the pandemic took hold. The mobility that the chairs have provided has given my clients a new-found sense of freedom and independence which has been incredibly welcome.

“Giving house-bound people the means to leave their homes and get outdoors into the fresh air has tremendous benefits for mental health, particularly as social distancing measures have closed off many opportunities for interaction.”

Chris concluded: “The support we have received from occupational therapists, care homes, healthcare professionals and our customers has been overwhelming. The vast majority of the feedback received could not have been more positive.

“We help customers from all walks of life with various mobility impairments and we are proud to be able to support the NHS and our customers during this crisis and to go the extra mile to play a positive role in our community.”

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