Being handy, staying mobile, getting out
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ANYONE in Moray looking to hire a mobility aid to get them out and about can now contact the Moray Handyperson Service.
The charity organisation already offers a wide variety of services to help the elderly or infirm inside the home, such as changing a lightbulb or assembling flatpack furniture.
But a brand new scheme is providing the chance for folk to get out of the house to go shopping or visit places.
Moray Handyperson, which is based in Victoria House, Elgin, has a selection of wheelchairs which are available to hire out.
There are the fold-out variety which are small enough to put inside a car boot.
Then there are some with small wheels which other people can push, plus some with large wheels that can be used to propel yourself along.
In addition, electric scooters are also available for hire, as are rollator walking frames which have a swivel-out seats to rest upon.
Malcolm Aldridge, Moray Handyperson's managing director, said: "The Red Cross loan people wheelchairs and have done ever since the end of the First World War.
"However, they moved out of Victoria House and Moray about five years ago and centralised in Inverness.
"Obviously, a lot of people don't want or simply aren't able to travel all the way to Inverness.
"Meanwhile, it's not easy to get a wheelchair from the NHS unless you have a long-term illness.
"These issues, allied to the fact that, even though the Red Cross left quite a while ago we were still getting enquiries here at Victoria House from people wanting to borrow a wheelchair, made us think we should start hiring them out ourselves.
"We believe there's a demand.
"Another bonus, we believe, is there's a wide variety of mobility aids out there on the market. If anyone is thinking of buying something for themselves we have a broad selection of models here which they can hire and try out first to see how they get on."
The group received a £2,500 grant from the Money for Moray scheme which paid for about half the new mobility equipment. They raised the rest through their own efforts with some items being donated by well-wishers.
Phone 01343 559739 between 10am-3pm, Monday to Thursday, or go online to www.morayhps.org.uk