Access Barnsley has a new shopping buddy service available in the town centre to assist those with additional mobility needs who need a little extra help in doing their shopping or accessing facilities in the town centre.
Age UK Barnsley, with Barnsley Council, is leading the volunteer-run service. Currently, Access Barnsley has mobility scooters and wheelchairs available to hire in the town centre. The shopping buddy service, based in the Age UK Barnsley shop on Eldon Street, adds another layer of accessibility. The service is available for people aged 16 and over.
If someone wants to be accompanied in a mobility vehicle, or while walking, to do their shopping, they can contact Age UK Barnsley to arrange this. Someone might want to use the service if they don’t want to rely on family and friends or if they’ve lost confidence going around the town centre alone. The service will be especially useful to those who cannot safely use a manual wheelchair or powered scooter. The shopping buddies will provide physical and emotional support, as they help the person around the shops. As part of the service, there will also be volunteers to drive people to and from the town centre. Find out more about how to volunteer here.
This service fits into Barnsley Council and Age UK Barnsley’s commitment to make the town ‘Age Friendly’. Barnsley has signed up to be part of the UK Network of Age-Friendly communities, which means moving towards making Barnsley a good place to grow old in. Work has already begun across a variety of areas that affect older people, including transport, housing and social participation.
Age UK Barnsley CEO, Jane Holliday said: “Access Barnsley is a popular service that helps people have access to the town centre. The Assisted Shopping Service is a natural extension to what we do and will hopefully help even more people get the most out of what Barnsley town centre offers.
Cllr Jenny Platts, Cabinet Spokesperson for Adults and Communities, said: “We’re so pleased to offer this service. It means that people not only have access to scooters and wheelchairs but also benefit from the emotional and physical support of someone assisting them around town. Age UK Barnsley is in the perfect location in the town centre to assist customers in accessing shops and services.”
This news is linked to Town Spirit, our new way of working better together. We believe that if everyone in Barnsley does just one thing, we can make our borough a more welcoming place to live, work, invest and visit.
We’re committed to making Barnsley better; creating a vibrant, family-friendly town centre, full of opportunity and potential. #OwnIt by visiting Barnsley town centre regularly, spending your money locally and positively promoting your town.