THE future of a key group for Southampton’s elderly that faced closure has been secured for the short-term.

Stairlift and mobility retailer Ableworld has stepped in to help Southampton Pensioners’ Forum after the organisation suffered a cash crisis and appealed.

As reported by the Daily Echo, the forum announced it had less than £500 in its coffers which is not even enough to fund the production costs of its next newsletter.

But Ableworld, which recently opened a new Southampton store in Portsmouth Road, Woolston, has guaranteed to cover those costs and is working to find more funding going forward next year.

Robbie Robinson, chairman of the forum, said he was very pleased with the donation.

He said: “All in all we are hoping it will be about £1,200 to cover the next two newsletters which is fantastic.

They have also talked to us about the future and one of the things they came up with is for us to go to smaller groups and asking if they can support us. So we will go out and chat to some of them and we have a committee meeting coming up when we will discuss it more and see what the best way forward is.”

He added: “We are very grateful Ableworld came forward as they were the only one to do so. That is a shame with so many companies in Southampton employing pensioners’ support.”

Jeff Newman, one of the directors at Ableworld Southampton, said: “The other directors and I are all local people and as soon as we learned that the Pensioners Forum was facing difficulties we were keen to support them.

“In our view it is very important for pensioners to have their say on a wide variety of issues that directly affect them. Publicising those views is vitally important and we couldn’t stand by and see the forum not able to produce their newsletters for lack of funds so we agreed to step in.”

The forum next meets at Southampton Civic Centre today and it is open to all pensioners who live in the city.