The British Red Cross in Newport has started a drive to find volunteers with good people skills who can spare a few hours a week to help people when they need a wheelchair.
Last year the Red Cross helped 2,375 people in Wales to get moving again when dealing with restricted mobility due to an illness or when recovering from surgery or an injury.
Mobility aids service manager Marina Gillgrass said, “When someone is recovering from an accident or has less mobility due to an illness, having a wheelchair can help them complete daily tasks around the house and get out and about. A wheelchair can make the difference between being stuck at home and getting out there living life.
“Volunteers use their people skills to support people at what can often be a very difficult time. As well as finding the right wheelchair, they provide much-needed emotional support and understanding.
“We are looking for compassionate people of all ages and backgrounds with a couple of hours to spare each week, who would like to do something really positive for the local community. We are especially keen to fill essential customer facing roles and also need drivers who can deliver wheelchairs to people’s homes.”
The Red Cross has been loaning wheelchairs since the First World War. The service has changed over the years but how to borrow or hire a wheelchair is now one of the most popular search topics on the Red Cross website.
Volunteers are given full training including customer service, how to assess a client’s needs, how to demonstrate how to use a wheelchair safely and all Red Cross volunteers are also trained in essential first aid.