A CHARITY which has provided more than 4,000 wheelchairs to people in need could reduce its hours unless volunteers come forward.

The Wheelchair Loan Service, based at Clacton Hospital for the past two years, was set up ten years ago by two volunteers.

It loans wheelchairs to people who need them for up to three months.

Bart Walsh, a spokesperson for the group, said the service continues to be popular but more volunteers are needed.

He said: “Unfortunately when Essex County Hospital closed down last year we were forced to leave our base in Colchester and were unable to obtain suitable accommodation which we could afford in the town.

“As a result we had an enforced relocation to Clacton which meant we lost three of our volunteers.”

A shortage of volunteers means the service is only available from Monday to Wednesday, and hours could be cut even further.

Mr Walsh said: “Many people are under the misunderstanding wheelchairs are provided by the NHS, but in reality in order to qualify for assistance with a wheelchair a patient has to have a long-term condition needing permanent use of the chair.”

To find out more call 01255 201763.