British Red Cross and Tesco offer wheelchair loans in Aldershot

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Wheelchairs can be reserved through the Red Cross online reservation system by calling 0300 456 1914 and making a donation when booking.

Submitted by the British Red Cross

The British Red Cross and the Tesco supermarket have set up a wheelchair loaner service in Aldershot to provide mobility assistance to those who need it most.

British Red Cross staff will be on site once a week in the Tesco car park in Aldershot to distribute wheelchairs on a socially distanced, click and collect basis.

The project will help vulnerable people regain their independence by improving their mobility, as well as relieving pressure on NHS services by freeing up beds and allowing patients to return home earlier.

Geoff Cheshire, Head of Mobility Assistance at the British Red Cross, said: “We know that a service like this is needed and we are delighted that Tesco is helping to make it happen by providing places of parking lot to our teams to use.

“We’ve all been limited in what we can do over the past year or so, but we’re hoping these pop-ups will help people stay active, get out and get back to the lives they had before the pandemic.”

It is hoped that such convenient wheelchair access at Tesco sites will play an important role in helping people return to normal lives and ensuring that no one is left behind due to mobility issues.

British Red Cross research shows that wheelchairs can help people recover from illness and injury, improving choice, independence and well-being.

A wheelchair reservation can be done through the Red Cross online reservation system or over the phone by calling 0300 456 1914 and making a donation when booking.

Users will then be assigned an individual time for collection at the Red Cross collection point in the Tesco parking lot in Aldershot.

The pop-up service is part of a new pilot program, conducted in association with Tesco, which hosts the wheelchair service in 11 stores in Wales and England for six months.

Vikram Sidhu, Store Manager at Tesco Aldershot Superstore, said: “We are very proud to support our local community in Aldershot with easy access to mobility aids through this new initiative with the British Red Cross.

“This is just another small way to help our customers and add to our long term partnership with the British Red Cross. “

The British Red Cross has 150 staff across the country dedicated to the mobility of people. They continued to provide wheelchairs throughout the pandemic, often for unexpected events like recovery from an accident or an operation.

More recently, we have seen an increase in demand from those who need help getting to a Covid-19 vaccination center or general surgery.

The Red Cross is the nation’s largest supplier of wheelchairs for short-term use, helping around 50,000 people in 2019, when it had 950 active volunteers.

It also provides other home accessories and equipment such as bathroom aids and dressers.

Clinicians, local authorities and emergency responders can find out more about the full range of equipment by calling 0300 456 1914.


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