Shopmobility scheme in Leamington helped to make woman's day at Commonwealth Games in Victoria Park "extra special"

The scheme provided keen bowls player and fan Chris Dunne – who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer - with a portable wheelchair and motor attachment so she could be taken by her daughter to watch her favourite sport

A Leamington scheme which helps those with mobility difficulties to get around has been praised for helping a keen bowls player and fan to have “an extra special day” watching her favourite sport at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games in Victoria Park.

Shopmobility provided Chris Dunne – who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer - with a portable wheelchair and motor attachment so her daughter Katie could take her to watch the bowls and para bowls competitions at the park last Sunday (July 31).

Katie said she and Chris were able to make some really great memories with her mum with the “help, support and guidance” of manager Robin Brooks and assistant manager Richard Collins at Shopmobility, which is based at the Royal Priors Shopping Centre car park.

Chris Dunne at Victoria Park ready to watch the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games bowls competitions. Picture submitted.

Katie said: “Mum has struggled terribly with her health in recent years and is currently being treated for a second diagnosis of breast cancer.

"After a challenging and isolating time during the pandemic, and a hospital stay in April following another fall, in May she moved into residential care at River Meadows in Kineton, where she is being very well looked after.

"It was the first time we have been able to take her out for pleasure since the start of pandemic.”

“I only have a Mini so not a lot of space to transport a wheelchair, but Shopmoboility took the time to understand the challenge we were facing and to find a great solution - a portable wheelchair and motor attachment that could be easily taken apart, fit in the car and be reassembled with ease.

Chris with her daughter Katie at Victoria Park. Picture submitted.

"I was particularly impressed by the care and time taken on Saturday, when I picked it up, to make sure I was fully comfortable with assembling and taking it apart.

“We had an absolutely super day, the Commonwealth Games volunteers helped ensure Mum had a great view from the accessible seating area and we even met, watched and cheered along with two lawn bowls athletes - Linine Tagaloa Hewett from Niue and Damien Delgado, from Australia and a para lawn bowler who is a wheelchair user himself.

Chris was a very keen bowler for many years, having played first for Kineton and then at Southam United Bowls Club, where she was ladies captain, club president and county president.

She had played at Victoria Park too.

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Katie said: “Bowls really was mum’s passion when she was fit and able.

"Without the services of Leamington Spa Shopmobility, we just wouldn’t have been able to give this special day out and I am incredible grateful for the very important and valuable service you provide.”

Shopmobobolity is mainly funded by a grant from Leamington Town Council, and its shop unit is provided by the Royal Priors .

It also receives donations from fund-raising organisations and members of the public.

It sells a small number of mobility-related items, and the income raised helps to keep the service going.