Supermarket giant Tesco has teamed up with the British Red Cross to provide a COVID-secure way to get a wheelchair with a new pop-up service.
Thiis.co.uk reports that British Red Cross staff and volunteers will be on hand once a week at Tesco in Aldershot in Hampshire to distribute wheelchairs on a socially distant, click-and-collect basis.
The initiative aims to help vulnerable people regain their independence by improving their mobility, as well as easing pressures on the NHS by freeing up beds and allowing patients to be able to return home sooner.
It also comes as the UK’s lockdown restrictions are being eased, and the public can once again venture out, re-engage with their social lives, and attend events, as weddings and other life events are able to go ahead with more guests in attendance.
It is hoped that the convenient access to wheelchairs at the supermarket will play a major part in helping people get back to life as normal, and ensure that no one is left behind due to mobility issues,
Head of the Mobility Aids Service at the British Red Cross, Geoff Cheshire, said, “We know there’s a need for a service like this and we’re delighted that Tesco is helping to make it happen by providing car park spaces for our volunteers to use.
“We have all been restricted in what we can do over the last year but we hope these pop-ups will help people remain active, get out and about and begin to return to the lives they enjoyed before the pandemic.”
According to research from the British Red Cross, access to wheelchairs can help people recover from illnesses and injury, improving choice, independence and overall wellbeing.
To reserver a wheelchair from the service, you can use the Red Cross online booking system or the phone and making a donation of £17.50 a week. Applicants will then be given a time slot for collection from the British Red Cross pop-up point in the Tesco car park.
However, if you need a wheelchair, but will find it a struggle to meet the cost, the British Red Cross says to still get in touch as they may still be able to offer assistance.
The pop-up service is part of a new pilot scheme that will run until September 2021. It’s hoped that the project will roll out in more locations nationwide, later this year.
The charity had argued that it had become an expensive way to operate to have so many centres open, due to the commercial rates to open up in buildings. It is also considering a delivery service and further pop-up shops.
The British Red Cross is the biggest national provider of wheelchairs for short-term use assisting around 50,000 people in 2019 when it had 950 active volunteers. It also provides other accessories and home equipment like bathroom aids and commodes.
If you’re looking for mobility aids in Berkshire, get in touch today!