U.K. self-storage operator Big Yellow Group PLC is supporting the British Red Cross (BRC) in its quest to loan wheelchairs to people in need during the coronavirus pandemic. The operator is providing free storage for BRC at 27 of its locations, enabling the charity to keep mobility aids and distribute them to hospitals, local resilience forums and homes, according to the source.
“As part of our commitment to local communities, we support charities up and down the country. Now more so than ever, it is important for us to work together to help in any way we can,” said Big Yellow CEO Jim Gibson. “By donating space across the U.K. to the British Red Cross, we’re able to provide additional secure, accessible and clean facilities for the organization to store its mobility aids, while enabling its wonderful volunteers to continue with their invaluable work at this time.”
BRC has been scaling its mobility-aids service since the pandemic began. It now provides support to additional healthcare sites, including NHS Nightingale Hospital Birmingham and rehabilitation centers dedicated to patients recovering from COVID-19.
Those in need can also order a wheelchair online and pick it up at BRC’s mobility center in Swindon, England. Rentals are £15 per week for up to 20 weeks, but free to those who can’t pay.
“The lack of a mobility aid can prevent someone from doing even simple tasks around the house, let alone enjoying some meaningful exercise, indoors or out, popping to the supermarket or picking up a prescription,” said Geoff Cheshire, BRC operations manager for mobility aids. “Those concerns can be the difference between someone having to stay in the hospital or being able to return home; and we want clinicians and emergency responders embedded in communities to know we are here to support them.”
Big Yellow Group operates 100 self-storage locations in the United Kingdom under the Big Yellow Self Storage and Armadillo brand names, with most concentrated in Greater London and Southeast England. Its total portfolio comprises 5.7 million square feet.