Free Ring & Ride and Shopmobility sessions thanks to grant funding

North Devon Gazette

Go North Devon is thrilled to announce it has been awarded funding for an exciting new pilot scheme to help boost confidence, ease loneliness and promote independence amongst older people in the area.

The grant has come from One Northern Devon’s Healthy Ageing in Northern Devon (HAND) project and will allow people to be offered up to three free taster sessions of the Ring & Ride and Shopmobility services.Â

The free sessions run from January 31 to March 31 this year and are open to anyone who has lost confidence due to frailty, poor health and/or Covid anxiety but who would like to get out and about again and regain their independence.Â

Passengers can take advantage of three free Ring & Ride trips which can be for shopping, a trip into town or to go further afield on one of the popular social trips.

There is also an opportunity to try out Shopmobility with three free taster sessions of wheelchair (electric or manual) or scooter hire to allow people to enjoy a day visiting the shops and sights of Barnstaple town centre.

The pilot scheme is open to new clients as well as existing ones who have not used the service in months.

For anyone wishing to take part, there will be a preliminary and post evaluation questionnaire allowing the team at Go North Devon to assess the benefits of services on their clients’ physical and mental wellbeing.

Ring & Ride provides a door-to-door wheelchair-accessible minibus for those needing to access supermarkets, shops and services in Barnstaple.Â

There is also an opportunity to join one of the popular social trips to enjoy local scenery, indulge in a pub lunch or just to see the sea and have a Hockings ice cream from the comfort of the minibus.

Shopmobility is the only scheme in North Devon and supports residents by providing the use of wheelchairs and scooters to give freedom and independence in Barnstaple town centre.Â

It links perfectly with Ring & Ride if people need help with transport to get here, or alternatively the Shopmobility car park is available, just collect a permit when you arrive.

To find out more or to book your free taster session, please call 01271 328866. (Bookings enquiry line open Monday to Friday 9am to 12.30pm).