Alan & Sandra
(Windsor & Maidenhead Shopmobility; Trips & Rambles)
Alan, 75 has been using the Shopmobility services in both Maidenhead and Windsor for over a decade, usually accompanied by his wife of 46 years, Sandra. They love having the choice of the two services, using Maidenhead for its easy access to the shops, and heading to Windsor in the summer for picnics by the river.
The motorised chairs mean Sandra, who has had two hip replacements, no longer has to push Alan’s wheelchair, which was leaving her exhausted, and Alan really values having the independence and freedom to visit the library or explore the town on his own. Alan says that having the chair brought right up to his car is an added benefit and makes the process easy and pain-free.
The couple, who have recently been forced to give up their own car, also enjoy going on People to Places’ organised trips, with Sandra travelling on the minibus as Alan’s carer. In 2017, People to Places took them down to Eastbourne, Sussex to spend the day exploring the seaside town. They said that the drivers did a fantastic job of making sure they were dropped off somewhere with easy access to all the town highlights, and without People to Places, they wouldn’t have been able to see the sea last year.
Julie, 33, trained as a nurse and was a keen rugby player, but due to several health conditions she now struggles even to lift a kettle, let alone walk unaided. She discovered People to Places’ Shopmobility service six months ago and is now a keen user. Julie uses the electric scooters to shop, but mostly Shopmobility allows her to socialise - going for breakfast with her husband or meeting friends.
For Julie, one of the worst things about her disability is that she can no longer run around with her young children, aged five and six, instead forced to sit on the sidelines and watch. Having access to the Shopmobility service means she’s now able to take them outside, often making up games involving her scooter – and she says she’s so grateful to be playing with her kids again.
A passionate advocate for young people with disabilities, Julie has even started volunteering in the Shopmobility Office twice a week. Volunteering gives her a reason to get out of the house and meet new people, and she hopes that by talking openly about her difficulties she can encourage other people to do the same.