An urgent appeal has been launched to save North Devon’s long-running Shopmobility from closure.

Many local people rely on the service, which provides mobility aids such as scooters and wheelchairs for people visiting the centre of Barnstaple to shop, attend appointments and to get out and about.

The service is run by Go North Devon (GND), which says it needs to raise £40,000 to keep it going and has launched an urgent Save Our Shopmobility JustGiving online appeal.

Go North Devon provides the only Shopmobility service in North Devon and it is relied upon by locals and clients that are visiting or on holiday.

In the past the charity has received local authority grant aid, but the charity says due to budget cuts the councils have been forced to reduce the grants given, and in one case, stop them completely.

GND chairman David Netherway said: "We have been fortunate enough to have sufficient reserves to cover a deficit of £11,000 in the first six months of this year, but we know we cannot continue this for long as funds are running out."

The service works to raise funds through a range of events including tombolas, raffles, street collections and book sales, however the income from this is not sufficient to make up for the reduction of the grants.

Mr Netherway continued: "The continued challenge of volunteer recruitment is reflected in our payroll costs - we need to maintain our current opening hours and not least because many of our volunteers have individual support needs themselves."

North Devon Shopmobility began in 1997 by providing a loan of powered and manual wheelchairs and scooters to anyone with mobility problems.

During the past two years the service has supported 397 individuals and it has also seen an increase in overnight hires of portable equipment.

If the funds are raised, Shopmobility will be able to continue the service it provides to the community and help those who need mobility support regain their independence and be able to leave the house so they do not become isolated.

Due to funding and volunteer restraints, GND is closed on weekends and bank holidays, but still provides portable equipment to anyone who wishes to hire it over the weekend.

If you would like to donate and support the Shopmobility service, visit www.justgiving.com/campaign/SaveOurShopmobility .