You may have seen Yvonne Hartwell, an occupational therapist from Tauranga, on Campbell Live in September. Through her Shopmobility ™ campaign, Yvonne is working with supermarkets and retailers to make shopping Martcarts available in their stores so that the elderly, or those who are physically challenged and have mobility issues, can do their shopping. “As an occupational therapist I was in a good position to see why people weren’t accessing these stores. People’s health, the ergonomics of the store, and the lack of available equipment, meant many of my clients were not able to do their shopping. They were dependent on other people doing it for them and were becoming socially isolated.”
Mobility scooters are not effective in stores as they are too fast and accidents happen. Martcarts are designed for the indoors: they are smaller, slower and safer and have a large basket fixed on the back that fits all the shopping. The Martcarts are made in the Arkansas, USA and are available from Martcart NZ.
Yvonne came to New Zealand from the United Kingdom ten years ago. Initially she worked at Tauranga hospital before setting up in private practice where she has worked with Enliven and the ACC fall’s prevention programme. Yvonne and her co-worker registered Shopmobility™ having been aware of the programme in the United Kingdom. Shopmobility has had good support from Foodstuffs New Zealand and they have started discussions with the Warehouse to make Martcarts available in all their stores over the country.