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Jane Ellison MP Tries Volunteering at Shopmobility

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Jane Ellison MP at ShopmobilityWandsworth Shopmobility provides regular shopping trips for elderly and disabled people in Wandsworth and uses an award-winning team of volunteers to help push wheelchairs and give a helping hand. They were delighted to welcome Battersea MP, Jane Ellison, and give her a taste of how the service works and what the volunteers actually do. Jane was keen to get involved and help one of the shoppers, (Margaret Howden, pictured), and after a quick wheelchair training session, was soon cruising the supermarket aisles, and filling her trolley.

“It was quite an eye-opener seeing how busy they were at Shopmobility, with the volunteers doing such a great job” said Ms Ellison. “It was obvious that her weekly shopping trip was really important to Mrs Howden, and it was great to be able to help her.”

Shopmobility have over 1,000 service users and always need new volunteers to help out. They really hope that the example shown by their local MP will encourage new people to come and join in.

“We are always looking for new volunteers, as well as people who need to use our services” said Shopmobility Manager, Marcia Millington. “Anyone in Wandsworth who finds it difficult to use public transport can join and membership is free. As well as our regular shopping trips we do trips out to the coast and other places of interest. We provide wheelchairs and electric scooters and of course a marvellous volunteer to help if you need one.

Many of our passengers would be stuck indoors if it wasn’t for our volunteers and it is difficult to stress how important a role they play in keeping people active and independent, out and about, meeting people and making new friends. Anyone who wants to help or use the service should give us a call on 020-8875 9585 and give it a try.”

Background Information

  1. The visit took place on Wednesday 1st August 2012. Pictured are Battersea MP Ms Jane Ellison and Shopmobility member Mrs Margaret Howden.
  2. Wandsworth Shopmobility is based at Sainsbury’s Supermarket Garratt Lane SW18, and is operated by Wandsworth Community Transport (WCT) and funded by Wandsworth Borough Council. They won the Queens Golden Jubillee Award in 2002.
  3. Wandsworth Shopmobility provides electric scooters and manual wheelchairs along with volunteers to push them. It also runs a door-to-door accessible minibus service that takes elderly and disabled Wandsworth residents to the Town Centre.
  4. WCT has over 1000 passenger members, and most of these regularly use their Shopmobility service. Latest figures show that more than 11,000 return passenger trips are completed each year. The 90 volunteers involved in the project, help by driving the minibuses and pushing wheelchairs etc.
  5.  WCT provides accessible minibuses to community groups and individuals in Wandsworth. In addition, WCT offers trips to elderly and disabled residents of the borough. Application forms for membership may be obtained by telephoning WCT on 020-8675 3812.

WCT delivers on Christmas Day

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Every year Battersea Park Rotary Club put on a fantastic Christmas Day lunch for the elderly and disabled people of Wandsworth and every year WCT mobilises its entire fleet of minibuses to provide transport. We know from our many passengers who attend that it is incredibly important to them and that they put on a wonderful day.

Its a great example of the Big Society in action and something that all those who help should be proud of. In that spirit, I would like to add my personal congratulations and pay tribute to all our drivers who get involved. When many Community Transports have their minibuses locked in their yards on Christmas Day, all 25 of ours are out. That’s 25 of our drivers who volunteer to drive every Christmas Day, and I for one am mightily impressed.

So congratulations are definitely due all round and I look forward to the same again next year!

Manuel Button
Manging Director

Silver anniversary for Wandsworth Community Transport

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Wandsworth Community Transport celebrated its 25th anniversary last week (on Tuesday 29th July) at a special reception held at the Wandsworth Civic Suite. The Mayor, Councillors, members of staff, users of the service and volunteers enjoyed a fun filled afternoon and celebrated 25 years of success for the organisation, which provides minibus transport for community groups and individuals who cannot use public transport.

Entertainment was provided by the Baked Bean Theatre Company, which works with people with learning disabilities and has used Community Transport minibuses since it was formed over 10 years ago. They presented some excerpts from their latest work “Space Up Your Life” which were so full of energy and fun that the rest of the afternoon was guaranteed to be a success.

The Mayor presided over the event and presented awards to several volunteers who had given outstanding service over many years.

“It was great to see such an amazing turn out” said Managing Director Manuel Button “and to have the opportunity to say thank you to the Council that have supported us so well over so many years, as well as to the volunteers that have made it all possible. From small acorns great oaks do grow, and I feel our organisation is a great example of this and of what can be achieved by local people working together in partnership.”

Wandsworth Community provides minibus transport for local organisations and its Shopmobilty service provides for some of the most isolated elderly and disabled people in the Borough, providing regular door-to-door shopping trips and trips out to the coast and places of interest.

Anyone who would like to find out more or to join the award winning team of volunteers, should call Manuel on 020 8675 3812.

Background Information

Wandsworth Community Transport (WCT) provides accessible minibuses to community groups and individuals in Wandsworth. In addition, WCT offers trips to elderly and disabled residents of the borough. Application forms for membership may be obtained by telephoning WCT on 020-8675 3812.

WCT vehicles are fitted with seat belts for every passenger, are fully accessible with taillifts for passengers with mobility difficulties and users of wheelchairs. Fully trained, caring drivers and, if necessary escorts are provided for all trips to ensure the maximum comfort for passengers.

WCT is funded by the local Council and is established to provide services that benefit disabled and elderly residents and local voluntary and community organisations in Wandsworth. WCT has been involved in providing these services since 1983.WCT runs Wandsworth Shopmobility, based at Sainsbury’s Supermarket on Garratt Lane, which provides, on loan and free of charge, powered scooters, electric or manual wheelchairs, and a volunteer escort, if necessary, to help anyone with a mobility problem.

Council contract extended until 2013

Friday, April 4th, 2008

Wandsworth Community Transport are delighted to report that their contract with the Council has been extended for another 5 years to 2013 and would like to take this opportunity to thank the Council for their continued support and trust.

“It’s great news for all our members” said Managing Director Manuel Button, “and we can promise that we will continue to deliver top quality services to the people of Wandsworth and take every opportunity to draw in additional funding and expand our range of services.

In particular we see door-to-door transport for elderly and disabled people as a growth area. Growing dissatisfaction with Dial-a-Ride and Taxi Card seems to be heading towards a system where other providers like ourselves are brought in to meet demand. We firmly believe that local demand met by local organisations provides a much better service and we think we have much to offer.

Regarding the future, the security of a 5 year contract will really help us develop our business plans, but remember, we rely on the people of Wandsworth (who are all our potential members) to tell us where the needs are and what we can do to help. We are always ready for a challenge and to solve new problems. School runs, social car schemes, plus buses, car sharing and specialised training are just a few additional areas we work in. We do much more than just hire out minibuses.

Wandsworth Community Transport receives prestiguous ‘Wandsworth Business Award for Outstanding Customer Care’

Monday, November 1st, 2004

This was awarded to its Shopmobility Project and is another feather in the cap for this higly respected service.

“The credit is again mainly due to our marvellous team of volunteers, who look after our elderly and disabled passengers, pushing wheelchairs, giving a helping arm, and loading the shopping trolleys” said Shopmobility Manager Marcia Millington.

“But what makes them special is the extra they give, which is so much more than just helping people with their shopping! For many of our passenegrs, their weekly trip out is the only time they get out from within the prison of their four walls, and the friendship, care and company they receive from their regular volunteers makes a huge difference in their lives. Many develop long lasting relationships which go far beyond the basic requirements of helping them shop, and it is this level of extra attention that has made our volunteers worthy winners of this award for “Outstanding Customer Care.”

Wandsworth Community Transport is also particularly pleased to receive recognition as a “Business”. For too long the voluntary sector has been perceived as well meaning amateurs who try their best to help. This is far from the case. We are the new breed of Social Enterprises that compete in the open market to provide the highest level of services, whilst still promoting equality of opportunity for staff, volunteers and service users. All the money we get, be it from grant, contract or donation, goes to make us the best rather than to pay shareholders – and it shows!