Kingston Shopmobility Service currently provides short-term hire of wheelchairs and scooters to help people get around the shops in Kingston Town Centre.
The council is committed to enabling more people who may find it difficult, for a variety of reasons, including health or mobility needs, or due to a short or long-term term disability, to access Kingston Town centre. As such, increased funding has been agreed to develop the scheme over the next 3 years. We have been working with our partners in the voluntary sector with support from Kingston Voluntary Action to review the current Shop Mobility service and to make plans for how we would like the scheme to operate in future.
The council intends to find a new organisation to deliver and develop the scheme with the aim of it becoming self sustainable after the three year funding period. To help us with this we are also working in partnership with Kingston First and Eden Walk Centre management to engage with retail and leisure services in Kingston.
Through our work so far we have found that there is a strong desire to broaden the scope of the scheme so that it includes a range of access issues as well as continuing to provide wheelchair and scooter hire. There is also agreement that the future offer is about far more than being able to access shops, it is about people being included and involved in social and leisure opportunities and all that Kingston has to offer.
- We are carrying out a survey with current and potential users to understand what is important to them
- We are finding out about how successful schemes are run in other areas
- We are engaging with Kingston town centre shops and leisure opportunities
- We will use all of the feedback from this along with what we have learnt from the voluntary sector to write a new service specification
We will begin a process in the autumn to find the right organisation to deliver the service in future
We will keep updating the website as the project progresses.