A SOCIAL enterprise which offers elderly residents who struggle with walking better access to green spaces could be set to come to Helensburgh.

Park Mobility provides free electric scooters to people to enable them to get out and about in the public parks and outdoor attractions in their area.

The scheme was piloted last year in Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Park and was warmly welcomed by users of the service, and now organisers hope to build on that success by expanding the operation to Helensburgh.

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Hugh Young, in charge of business development at the not-for-profit organisation, said: “We provide access to public parks without discrimination. People shouldn’t be charged to access them.

“It made a huge difference to people being able to access a lot of the arts and cultural events in Kelvingrove Park, it provided respite for carers and it empowered people to roam free themselves.

“They can travel wherever they want and the feedback we’ve had so far has been phenomenal.

“Our director Maura Gallacher has recently moved into the area and she herself has restricted mobility on some days that restricts access to the seafront.

“We’re hopeful the community with get behind the idea especially now with the new plans for the town moving forward.”

Initial plans were put forward for the group to open a café in Hermitage Park’s new pavilion, which would be run all year round and would subsidise the scooter service.

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However, despite Argyll and Bute Council blocking the move, Hugh still hopes a base can be established in the town and a crowd-funding page has now been set up to help cover costs.

He added: “The council like the idea, they think it’s fabulous, but unfortunately the café proposal just isn’t possible.

“The aim now is for them to be well used and to get public support. We’ve set up a JustGiving page and we’d like to get this up and running.

“Hopefully the council will grant permission to operate from a mobile unit next to the toilets on the pier or on the piece of land at the entrance of the car park [former Mariners Bar site].

“The scooters were well used during the summer months last year and people said it made a real difference.

“Some of the feedback was that it would allow people to travel along the seafront without stopping for a break and trying to find a bench to sit on.

“It’s all volunteer-led and we have young people getting involved as it offers employment opportunities.

“The scooters themselves are expensive pieces of equipment and being able to jump on and off whenever you like suited a lot of people.

“It allows people to get out and visit friends and we can pick up people and the scooters, because we can’t ask them to take them out for the day and then have to travel back and return them.”

An Argyll and Bute Council spokesman said: “We have held initial discussions with Park Mobility, and would be happy to further discuss the possibility of bringing the scheme to Helensburgh.”

Park Mobility hopes to raise £20,000 to support the running costs of the Helensburgh project.

To find out more and donate, visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/hugh-young.