Disabled mum stuck after charity closure

APPEAL ... Amanda Sheldon says she has lost her independence since South Shields Shopmobility closed in December.
APPEAL ... Amanda Sheldon says she has lost her independence since South Shields Shopmobility closed in December.
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A DISABLED mum says she has lost her independence since the closure of a charity.

Now Amanda Sheldon, of West Boldon, is campaigning for a new service to replace her local Shopmobility, which provided mobility scooters and other facilities for 12 years.

The charity, which was run by volunteers from its base in South Tyneside closed last December due to a funding crisis.

Miss Sheldon, 47, of Boldon Drive, relied on Shopmobility for shopping and banking trips twice a week.

The mum-of-one, who suffers from arthritis and neurofibromatosis, which affects nerve tissues and causes spine problems, said: “I used to be able to drive into town by myself, and borrow a motor scooter from Shopmobility.

“Now I can’t, and have to rely on somebody driving me into town and getting my own motor scooter out of the car.

“I’ve lost my independence. Shopmobility was a fantastic charity, and it feels like I’ve lost a lifeline.”

Miss Sheldon now relies on her mum, June, 71, for help with transport. She is keen to hear from other disabled people who would be interested in campaigning for a replacement service.

She added: “I understand that there were funding problems, but disabled people need this kind of service.

“If there was any way we could get it back, or an equivalent service from somewhere else, we would all be grateful.”

Coun John Wood served on the managing committee of South Tyneside Shopmobility for about three years.

He said: “It was a difficult decision for us to make as a charity, but without funds we could not go on.

“I understand where Miss Sheldon is coming from, because I know how important the service was.”

To support Miss Sheldon’s campaign, call her on 537 4256.

Twitter: @sunderlandecho