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Is there a difference between Shopmobility and the National Federation of Shopmobility?


The simple answer is yes. Many people believe that the NFSUK is the Head office and umbrella organisation for all Shopmobility schemes, which is not correct. Here is an explanation of the differences between Shopmobility and NFSUK.


Shopmobility Shopmobility is 40 years old and started in Peterborough,


with the second scheme opening in Milton Keynes. Other schemes opened quickly across the midlands. The word Shopmobility represents any organisation whose


purpose is to loan or hire mobility equipment to those with mobility impairments. Any organisation that loans or hires mobility equipment can therefore call themselves Shopmobility. Volunteers normally staff Shopmobility, and individual


schemes fall into different categories: • Council supported • Charity operated • Not-for-profit operated • Business (usually a service offered as an extension of a mobility retail shop) Given the different categories, their financial objectives can be very different. If fully funded, it may be able to


loan equipment free of charge. Some schemes are able to cover most of their expenses through grants and can offer equipment for a small charge or donation. Many have no financial support and have to charge or rely on donations to cover all their overheads allowing the service to operate and continue. Many schemes are now finding it difficult to operate due to reductions in financial support, and reluctantly,


have had to introduce charges to maintain their service. Your support can make all the difference to your local schemes survival.


The National Federation


of Shopmobility (NFSUK) The National Federation of Shopmobility launched 30 years ago. It is a membership organisation for schemes across the UK, who work to a code of practice and best practice for its customers. The NFSUK is the secretariat organisation for the members Shopmobility schemes, who all run independently. They all have the same objectives to offer a service to consumers within their catchment area, plus any visitors and holidaymakers needing short-term loan of mobility products. NFSUK gives its members a national platform to ensure a high level of service


for users regardless of which scheme they use. Membership to the NFSUK provides its members with listings on the organisation website, which is the main resource consumers use to find their nearest scheme. If members need general advice, help or need to source products and local suppliers, being part of NFSUK membership helps. NFSUK members agree to abide to best practice by agreeing to and endorse


the British Healthcare Trades Associations Code of Practice (http://bhta.com/code-of-practice/). You can find a list of the current members of the NFSUK at www.nfsuk.org and in their printed directory


which can be purchased directly from the NFSUK website or by calling 01933 229644. Book today with your local NFSUK scheme:- • Use the NFSUK website to find the contact information for your local scheme • Check availability and book the equipment you need (advanced booking is recommended at peak times) • Check how much you’ll be charged for any hire • Find out what parking and other facilities are available • Plan your trip and get advice on how to get to the scheme


National Mobility Registration Service - NFSUK members run the National Mobility Registration Service for consumers that own their own mobility product. If your mobility product is stolen it can have a big impact on your independence, while sorting out a replacement product with your insurance company. Why not visit the NMRUK website to find out more information about registering your mobility scooter with the National Mobility Registration Service today? Visit: www.NMRUK.org


Why not join the NFSUK newsletter and stay up to date with scheme news across the UK Ability Needs Magazine 37


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