A Clydebank-based charity is warning that it could be forced to shut its doors for good if its funding is cut next month.

Clyde Shopmobility, an organisation that delivers mobility scooters, manual and powered wheelchairs, as well as essential information to residents across West Dunbartonshire, has been operating out of Clyde Shopping Centre for the past 13 years.

Recently, the charity was notified that its core funding – which is provided by West Dunbartonshire Council (WDC) – could be slashed by 25 to 100 per cent when the local authority meets to set its budget for 2024/25 on March 6.

On a recent visit to Clyde Shopmobility’s hub, board members Jackie and Margaret Maceira told the Post they felt “numb” after hearing the news.

Jackie said: “We were a bit numb at first because it’s like ‘wow, where did that come from?’ As a board, we’ve all been meeting to discuss how we take this on.

“We decided to send individual letters to councillors as well as handing out a petition to customers and their family members.

“The letters will let councillors read how this is going to affect local people. I think a lot of them think we just give out scooters and they don’t realise that there’s much more to it.

“We provide a pick-up and drop-off service. We don’t just say to service users ‘Come in on the bus and then walk up to us’.

"They phone and tell us that they’ve arrived at the bus stop, car park, or even the train station and we take the scooter to them.

“People can also book in advance because maybe they’re going to the doctor, or dentist, or just want to go to the cinema.

“We also run different things. On a Saturday people come here to have their benefits checked. There’s also our hearing clinic which repairs hearing aids free of charge.

“The reason why this is so sore is because this is core funding and core funding is hard to get.

"It pays the wages and our rent."

Documents published by WDC state that the council currently provides £47,670 of grant support to the charity.

As the local authority looks to plug an £8.3 million budget black hole councillors will be asked to consider more than 50 money-saving options including reducing this grant by between 25 and 100 per cent.

Margaret explained that even a 25 per cent reduction (approximately £11,917)  in funds could shut the charity for good.

She said: “Twenty-five per cent is nearly £12,000 to us, that’s a lot of money that would pay for our rent for the year.

“We used to get support from places like Working4U where we could employ people and they paid their salaries and that really helped us but now we’ve not got that so we have to pay out salaries.

“The cuts made by WDC to Working4U last year had a lot of cost implications on us that I don’t think the councillors realised.

“We still need our core staff members. Each of them has some form of disability and this charity is something that really helps them.

“We’ve got some young people whose parents can’t believe the difference in their children, we give them that support to build their confidence.

“If this goes, people that were using this service are going to be looking for a service from the council or the health and social care partnership (HSCP) because they need support in some way to get out and about.

“That’s going to have a financial impact on the council that we’re taking away from them just now.

"Previously we’ve been able to cover all of the costs but everything has shot up in price. There was no consultation on the budget like there used to be.

“Not one council officer came out to see us, we were not involved in the impact assessments.”

A WDC spokesperson said: “This proposal will be considered by elected members to close the council’s £17m budget gap for 2024/25.

“No decision can or will be taken until the budget setting meeting on 6 March.”