A MAN who is no longer able to walk unaided is backing an appeal for volunteers to help run the Trafford Shopmobility service at Stretford Mall.

Kevin Lomas, 59, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) around nine years ago after waking up one morning unable to feel anything below his waist.

He said: “I had inflammation in my spinal cord and that caused considerable damage to my right hand side and as a result I was diagnosed with transverse myelitis.

“Unfortunately, my right hand side continued to deteriorate so I was sent for head and neck MRI’s at Salford Royal and they discovered lesions in my brain stem and the back of the brain and my diagnosis changed to MS.”

“When my health deteriorated so suddenly it came as a massive shock. MS is a horrible, debilitating disease but I never let it get me down. My sense of humour and my wife keep me going.

“I’ve got primary progressive MS now which is basically end stage so there is no chance of remission. I’ve got a great support network around me though.”

Kevin has relied on Trafford Shopmobility service for the last three years and he said without the charity he would be stuck at home.

The charity is currently in desperate need of volunteers, crucial to keep the service going, and Kevin is urging people to come forward and lend a hand.

He said: “It’s a fantastic service. There is no way I would be able to go shopping with my wife Linda without Shopmobility.

“If I was able to I’d be volunteering myself - It really is a vital service.”

Shopmobility has been based at the shopping centre for nearly a decade and provides powered scooters and wheelchairs for people with limited mobility.

Branch chairman, Phil Simmons is currently running the service at Stretford on his own, and has issued a plea for more volunteers to help him.

The service has 18 users with an annual membership, and more than 100 people registered who use the scheme at Stretford.

Phil said: “We used to get volunteers supplied as part of a programme attached to the Job Centre. Now that has ceased we’re left with no volunteers.

“It’s now just me on my own and it’s not easy to do. I can’t do anything other than run the shop which is a problem when Altrincham is our main office base - I have to go there on my day off.

“At the moment if I’m ill the shop won’t be open. If a repair needs doing on a scooter I can’t do it. It’s vital we get help.”

The headquarters is in Altrincham, is also appealing for more volunteers to help out there.