By John Pring in Disability News Service.
Increasing numbers of Shopmobility services are struggling to stay open, according to the organisation that brings together many of the schemes across the UK.
The National Federation of Shopmobility UK (NFSUK) spoke out after the only Shopmobility scheme in Birmingham said it was set to close after its austerity-hit local authority withdrew financial support.
Donna Eade, co-ordinator of NFSUK, which is run by the British Healthcare Trades Association, has seen seven of about 150 members close their doors in the last 18 months, while its latest survey saw about half of those that responded facing some form of funding cut.
The situation is less clear for Shopmobility schemes that are not members of NFSUK, but Eade fears a similar picture.
She said many schemes were facing problems because their local councils had withdrawn funding, as has happened in Birmingham, with grants “disappearing at a rate of knots”.
She said: “The majority of Shopmobility schemes get some sort of funding from the council, and that is in jeopardy every time they apply [for a grant].
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