Mobility aids service base in Banbury set to close

The mobility aids service in Banbury is set to close
The mobility aids service in Banbury is set to close

A British Red Cross service which loans out mobility aids is closing its base in Banbury but the charity says it will keep serving the community.

The Cherwell Business Village site is shutting at the end of the month and the last date for equipment returns or collections is April 20.

The premises will be replaced by alternative service provision, including a delivery and collection option, which will bring the equipment direct to people’s homes.

Banbury and the surrounding area will also be served by another Red Cross service in Bicester.

Geoff Cheshire, head of operations for the Red Cross mobility aids service, said: “Like other charities, we need to critically analyse our income and costs, as we have a responsibility to make the best possible use of our donors’ funds.

“Unfortunately the Banbury service is no longer viable in its current form, and we will have to find another way to keep serving the community while making crucial cost savings.

“I would like to pay tribute to our exceptional volunteers, who have been so professional and dedicated over the years.

“I thank them for their tireless efforts to help others, and I hope that they will be able to stay with us in some capacity.

“We would not be able to do our work without them. This is something that we would not choose to do if we had any other feasible option.”

The Red Cross mobility aids service provides short-term loans of equipment to help people through periods of reduced mobility, perhaps after an injury or illness.

Equipment available includes wheelchairs, commodes and toileting aids, which can make a huge difference to people’s quality of life when they are going through a crisis.

“The service has always been well-used and highly valued in the Banbury area so I want people to know that it is still available to them,” Mr Cheshire added.

The future of a first aid service also based in the Banbury building off Southam Road is still under discussion.

If you are interested in borrowing mobility equipment from the Red Cross, call 0300 456 1914 to find out more or to arrange delivery, or visit www.redcross.org.uk/get-help/borrow-a-wheelchair.