accessibility & help

Wheelchair service helps residents on Shetland

29 January 2014

Residents on the wet and windy Shetland Islands know help will be at hand if they take a tumble, thanks to our wheelchair loan service.

The Shetland Islands, sitting 50 miles north of Orkney, are pretty remote with challenging weather conditions. And for those unlucky enough to break a bone or suffer a debilitating illness, it can be tricky to get around.

But things just got better for the islanders. This week, the British Red Cross’ mobility aids service launched a new partnership with the islands’ occupational therapy department.

Under one roof

Previously, the Red Cross had been compelled to loan wheelchairs from its own first floor office – which obviously led to accessibility problems. However, the new base at the Shetland Independent Living Centre is an ideal fit.

Jo Robinson, from the local occupational therapy team, said: “The mobility aids service means a lot to people here, and it would have been a big loss to Shetland if it had ended.”

She added: “Our centre has ideal facilities for storing and maintaining the Red Cross wheelchairs, and it makes sense that we are all under the same roof. We look forward to working closely with them for many years to come.”

Valued by locals

Helen Bath, operations director, said: “Last year, the Red Cross loaned 94 wheelchairs on Shetland, which shows how great the demand is among people who live on the islands.

“We are so grateful to the occupational therapy service. Their willingness to help has secured the future of this much-valued service.”

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