Community charity folds after 25 years

PUBLISHED: 09:00 05 October 2015 | UPDATED: 13:11 05 October 2015

Wheelchair

Wheelchair

Archant

A charity which helps sick and disabled people in Long Ashton has closed after 25 years due to a lack of volunteers.

Long Ashton Community Care Amenities (LACCA) provided members of the community who were sick, disabled or in need of financial assistance with equipment to help make their lives easier, such as stair lifts or wheelchairs.

The charity’s former chairman, Ron Chorley, says that the closure is a ‘real shame’ and says there is no chance of it being revived.

He blamed the closure on nobody being willing to continue its work.

He said: “There was just nobody interested in carrying it on, just general apathy.

“We asked and asked for help but nothing was forthcoming.

“It’s a great shame. We had distributed £40,000 of stock but still no one wanted to run it.

“I don’t think there is any chance of reviving it as it was but good luck to anyone who wants to set up something similar.”

Committee members and volunteers with the charity were often called out at difficult times of the day and night due to urgent requests from users for assistance or equipment.

Ron also believes that other similar but larger services, such as Medequip, have taken precedence over the more localised provider but says he is proud of all the years of hard work he and the rest of the charity’s committee has completed.

He added: “I always worked all hours under the sun and have been on call any day or night. I just took it as normal working life.

“Whereas it used to be looked upon as a small village organisation it got to the point where people just expected us to do things.

“We have had letters from heaven knows how many people and around 80 I think we have helped out with equipment, including sending 26 stair lifts out.

“Medequip now get things out so efficiently and that seems to be a natural end for us but we were determined as a committee that anyone has to be given ample opportunity to take it on.

“This time I said that I would definitely finish and I did.

“I can walk away with my head held high but it is the end of an era.

“To take this on was a great honour for me.”

The charity, which was officially registered in the summer of 1991, had actually been operating at a profit since 2013 but has given its surplus stock to the British Limbless Ex-service Men’s Association, as well as Changing Lives.


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