The Lancashire charity One Voice, with support from Cumbria Mobility and Eric Ollerenshaw, MP, has opened a new and comprehensive Independent Living centre in Lancaster for disabled people, which will deliver services ranging from free advice to providing quality mobility products.
Established in 2006 and part of the Advice UK network, One Voice is a Disability and Carers Service offering support and advice to disabled people living in the Lancaster and Morecambe district. It is a user-led organisation managed by disabled people and carers with four part time members and 20 volunteers. These dedicated individuals have all worked together to open the new ‘Independent Me’ Centre located in St. Leonard’s Gate with the help of Lancashire mobility product specialist Cumbria Mobility. Based in Carlisle and Morecambe, Cumbria Mobility has been established for over 10 years and is the only Motability accredited independent retailer based in the region. This heritage has led to Cumbria Mobility and One Voice joining together to open and manage this new centre, which will provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all disability-related advice, mobility products and the Shop Mobility scheme.
The new centre will provide free assistance to healthcare professionals and people with mobility issues regarding personal budgets, welfare and benefits, training, appeals and medical reviews, along with an extensive range of aids for daily living supplied by Cumbria Mobility. There is a suite of confidential rooms available for personal discussions and training workshops are planned for local Occupational Therapists and Carers. Qualified and experienced members from Cumbria Mobility will provide detailed, free assessments for people seeking aids to help with independent living so that the right product is selected for specific needs. It is essential when local people are looking to regain independence through owning a mobility scooter for example that impartial, specialist advice is acquired from the centre and that a quality brand is chosen. Without the correct advice, similar to purchasing mobility products directly off the internet, health problems and safety issues can arise which One Voice are committed to eliminating through appropriate education.
The new centre was opened on 7 December by Eric Ollerenshaw, MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood and was attended by Councillor Robert Redfern, Deputy Mayor of Lancaster, Board members of One Voice and over 100 local residents and healthcare professionals. The proceedings were also attended by Steve Wright from Cumbria Mobility and Gareth Allmark, Area Sales Manager for TGA, which manufactures the UK’s leading range of mobility scooters which are now available through the centre. The opening event encompassed a showcase demonstrating all the new services available along with a buffet and the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon. Steve Cornwell, Managing Director for Cumbria Mobility commented: “As an established mobility specialist, we are very proud to be supporting One Voice and the new Independent Me centre. We are committed to helping elderly and disabled Lancashire residents regain or retain their freedom through the provision of proven, safe and highly reliable mobility products. Members of our core team will be providing advice and personalised assessments at the centre so that anyone seeking aids to assist daily living, can rest assured they will select the best product every time. Cumbria Mobility continues to expand as a direct result of our customer-focused approach and we will maintain this caring and friendly service at the new centre in Lancaster. A wide ranging display of mobility products will be available for viewing Monday to Friday and our qualified mobility professionals will be on hand to provide objective, well informed advice.”
Daniel Stone, Managing Director of TGA Mobility, who supplies Cumbria Mobility with a range of mobility scooters, concluded: “Both One Voice and Cumbria Mobility deserve to be fully congratulated on the opening of this new centre. In these difficult financial times, the provision of free, professional advice and personalised assessments is absolutely paramount to ensure end users select the right mobility products first time. In addition to specific suitability, product reliability, comfort and safety are also of utmost importance. We believe with the support of a specialist such as Cumbria Mobility, visitors to the new ‘Independent Me’ centre will be able to benefit from greatly improved independence and inclusion within society.”