This April, Shopmobility Enniskillen is celebrating 15 years of operation.

This small local charity, with a committee of volunteers, has provided hundreds of locals and visitors to Enniskillen with mobility scooters and wheelchairs.

It continues to be a lifeline to hundreds of members and regular users, as well as being a beneficial one-off service to visitors and tourists from all over the world.

While many of us take it for granted that we can walk to where we need to go, for someone with reduced mobility, a short walk can seem like a marathon.

With the use of a mobility scooter, the charity’s members get a renewed sense of independence, and they don’t need to rely on the help of a carer or friend.

From day one, Shopmobility Enniskillen has relied on the support of volunteers, running the service voluntarily for almost 18 months before staff were able to be employed.

The committee members are entirely voluntary, and volunteers continue to support the service itself as well as those that use it, with fundraising support and dedicating their time to helping with events, of which there have been many over the years including Waterways Ireland rambles, taking part in the local 10K and the local St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

While many users have a long-term disability, the service is open to anyone who is struggling to get around, even if the reason is temporary.

Reduced mobility can be as a result of a short-term injury such as breaking a leg, or after surgery, or in circumstances such as waiting for hip/knee replacement.

No one is turned away.

To become a member, a short membership form is filled out, photographic identification is required, and training on the equipment is provided.

The process takes about 30-45 minutes and once you’ve completed it, daily hire of mobility equipment is free of charge.

There is even the option to pay a small hire charge to use the equipment for a few days, or even weeks should you need to.

After 15 years, Shopmobility Enniskillen has helped more than 1,000 people get a little independence back, and they’re hoping to help even more in the years ahead.