Herts Ability to relocate and close Equipment Centre

PUBLISHED: 11:38 18 August 2020 | UPDATED: 11:38 18 August 2020

The staff from Herts Ability. Picture: Supplied

The staff from Herts Ability. Picture: Supplied


Herts Ability, formerly Hertfordshire Action on Disability, is going to relocate from the Woodside Centre in Welwyn Garden City.

The charity has been in the same location for 12 years but the site, owned by Herts County Council, is set to be turned into a school for pupils with special needs.

A spokesperson for the charity said: “Our lease expired on August 13, 2020. However, the county council has indicated that the deadline will be extended to the end of October 2020. We are grateful to the council for subsidising our rental and service charges for all of this time.

“Unfortunately, neither Herts County Council nor Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council have been able find us a suitable property within their portfolio to which we can relocate. We are therefore having to move to new commercial premises in the Welwyn Hatfield area as most of our customers live locally.”

Although Herts Ability don’t currently have a new location and are still searching for a commercial property, which they then may need spend additional money on to make it suitable for their customers with disabilities.

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A number of places that they have already looked at don’t have enough parking spaces for their driving centre.

The spokesperson added: “At the same time as we move, we will also be closing our equipment centre, which has provided older and disabled people with specialist assessments and equipment needed to maintain their independence. We have reluctantly taken the decision to close this service because we now have to be more cost-conscious, and the move to new premises means we will have to pay a higher rent. In addition, COVID-19 has meant that fewer people now wish to come to the equipment centre, instead preferring to obtain equipment online.

“We will continue to operate our driving assessment and mobility services, and we are investigating how we might be able to provide assessment services to people in their homes instead of them having to come and visit us.

“If any of our customers have ideas or suggestions about how we can best adapt and utilise our core services to meet their needs, we would be delighted to hear from you.

“We also need public support with raising much-needed funds. If you would like to donate or fundraise for us, please visit our website www.hertsability.org.uk or contact Sean Lawrence on 01707 384263 or email sean.lawrence@hertsability.org.uk.

“We need your support now more than ever.”

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