Driving Mobility, the national charity that accredits independent driving and mobility assessment centres, is delighted to announce it will now be operating the National Federation of Shopmobility (NFSUK).
The National Federation of Shopmobility (NFSUK) was founded in 1989 and is a non-profit organisation. Its schemes, such as mobility scooter and wheelchair loan stores in shopping centres, aim to ‘promote equality of access and to encourage the independence of people with disabilities (permanent or temporary)’. Managed by the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) since 2014, the organisation has achieved impressive expansion of its services, however to increase opportunities further, the NFSUK will now be managed by Driving Mobility. This development represents a significant milestone in NFSUK history, and will ensure that awareness and accessibility to its services will be greatly enhanced.
Driving Mobility is regarded as the national voice of assisted driving and independence. As a charity supported by the Department for Transport, its 70 locations support over 20,000 clients each year with solutions for independent driving and personal mobility. The majority of its provision focuses on clinically-led ‘fitness-to-drive’ assessments and recommendations regarding appropriate mobility equipment. Service users self-refer or are signposted to Driving Mobility centres via the DVLA, Motability, Police and healthcare professionals. Every centre operates with the expert guidance of Occupational Therapists, Approved Driving Instructors and specialist staff who strive to achieve positive outcomes for all clients with restricted mobility.
Many of the Driving Mobility centres provide additional information and guidance regarding accessible transport options and alternatives to driving – known as HUBs services. The charity also leads in educational and research programmes associated with mobility and independent transportation. Driving Mobility has aspirations to be an international leader in the field whilst delivering holistic solutions at a local level across the UK. By being part of this larger network, NFSUK member Schemes will now benefit from greater engagement with local NHS Units, neighbouring schemes, independent clinics, retail outlets and the general public.
Edward Trewhella, Driving Mobility CEO, comments: “We believe that managing the successful Shopmobility scheme will complement our current strengths and future aims. Through our unique sector knowledge and contacts, it will open up provision of loan mobility equipment to more disabled people so that levels of safety and independence can increase – critical during these challenging times. The BHTA has completed an excellent job in facilitating NFSUK development, however Driving Mobility are proud to be embarking on this vital role and look forward to delivering a strong platform for future growth.”
Driving Mobility is a membership organisation, driven by and for the benefit of, its member centres – an ethos which it will extend to the NFSUK members who will have full involvement in its ongoing development. There will be a dedicated Driving Mobility staff member responsible for working with the scheme, and ensuring quality of service is maintained, Shopmobility will continue to follow the BHTA Code of Practice approved by The Chartered Trading Standards Institute.