Bracknell Shopmobility, which provides mobility scooters to elderly and disabled people to help them get around the town centre from its store, is facing the threat of closure due to cuts to its annual grant and a drop in footfall due to the pandemic.

Bracknell Shopmobility warned last year that the store could be forced to close if the charity did not receive more funding. A year on, acting Chairperson Colin Wilcox told Bracknell News that while there is no immediate threat of closure, the store is dependent on a “reasonable amount of reserves” to cope with the shortfall.

Said Colin: “We’ve got about two years in terms of leeway, but we don’t want to get to that point. We’re not in a financially sustainable position at the moment because there is a shortfall.

“I would think in two years we might have to start thinking about having to close.”

Advertisement | Continue story below

Bracknell Shopmobility’s grant from Bracknell Forest Council reduced from £32,800 in 2015/2016 to nothing from 2021/2022.

The charity needs to raise around £30,000 a year to cover its running costs and bosses have looked to external funding to plug the gap.

A lot of Bracknell Shopmobility’s funding, however, comes from events hosted by the charity and sales made through its store and coffee shop, in addition to the fees paid for use of scooters.

But with two national lockdowns and tier 4 measures forcing the shop to close three separate times over the past year – and now a fourth time during the third lockdown – fundraising has not been easy.

Colin told Bracknell News that in a normal year, the store will raise about £30,000, which goes towards running costs, but he cannot envisage the store reaching that level this year even though customers are coming in regularly to use the services and being generous with their spending when the store is open.

Many Shopmobility stores across England have seen their funding cut and less footfall over recent years, which has forced them to shut their doors for good. Shopmobility Shrewsbury and Shopmobility Sheffield have been among the closures in the last couple of years.

THIIS ROUND-UP
Join the 2,500+ mobility professionals who stay informed with THIIS' twice-weekly industry updates.
We respect your privacy
https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Webp.net-resizeimage-3.jpg?fit=900%2C676&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Webp.net-resizeimage-3.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Liane McIvorNewsroomRetailer NewsTrade NewsBracknell Shopmobility,charity,closures,disabled,elderly,funding,Mobility scooters,pandemic,storeBracknell Shopmobility, which provides mobility scooters to elderly and disabled people to help them get around the town centre from its store, is facing the threat of closure due to cuts to its annual grant and a drop in footfall due to the pandemic. Bracknell Shopmobility warned last year that...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals