“Our long term vision for this service is to be the ‘one stop shop’ for disability equipment, providing an easy to use, central website that gives organisations and individuals a convenient way to buy or sell disability equipment.”
The Disability Equipment Service is a simple to use, bespoke website that enables organisations and members of the public to sell their disability equipment and enables others, who may not be able to afford to buy new equipment, an opportunity to buy a used item of equipment at an affordable price.
The website is free to use by both members of the public and organisations. We can only do this by keeping our expenditure to a minimum and also from the generosity of people donating unwanted, good condition, equipment to us or from people giving us donations for using the service (not compulsory but much appreciated).
Items that are donated are cleaned, repaired if necessary and then sold at a competitive price. We give 25% of all proceeds to charity with the remaining proceeds supporting the running costs of the website.
In July 2017, after putting aside 25% of money raised from the sale of donated equipment, we were pleased to donate £5000 to Guide Dogs for the Blind. This donation enabled us to name a guide dog puppy (we’ve named it Des) and support its journey through its first year of training. Please link to our Facebook and Twitter pages to follow Des’s first year with us.
We had chosen Guide Dogs as our nominated charity due to Dave, the lead person for this service, having a guide dog when we took over the running of the service in May 2015. Errol, Dave’s first guide dog, sadly had to be put to sleep on 22 June 2017 after being diagnosed with terminal cancer just two days earlier. He had just turned 8 (on 13th June), was an amazing dog and a loyal companion and colleague to Dave and all of us within the DES team and is sadly missed. Dave wrote a lovely eulogy in memory of Errol for people to read and see some photos of him.
Errol’s passing came just before we had to decide on what to call the puppy. We had always planned on putting the obvious name of Des as our first choice, but, due to the timing, then gave some considerable thought to naming the new puppy Errol in his memory. In the end, we decided to stick to the name Des (and what a great name it is too) but agreed to work towards raising a further £5000 to name a second puppy Errol.
The Disability Equipment Service, formerly known as AskDES, was launched by a Surrey charity in 2004 and served Surrey, East & West Sussex and the borough of Sutton and Merton. In October 2014 the website was given a much needed overhaul and relaunched as a national service with some new features and with its use widened to include organisations as well as members of the public.
Since May 2015, the Disability Equipment Service has been operated by a small group of friends, led by Dave, but equally supported by Vicky who focusses on our social media and the visual aspects of running the website. It is a voluntary concern and is managed and maintained mainly during the evenings and weekends or as time allows.
The current website was built and has ongoing support from Jolyon Gray, a freelance website developer based in the South of the UK. Jolyon has been great to work with and has supported us with ensuring that the website remains live, free from bugs and most importantly, secure for our customers to use. We highly recommend Jolyon to anyone seeking someone to support them with building and maintaining a website and we’ll happily put you in contact with him.
We are keen for this service to benefit as many people as possible. Please ensure it continues to be well used by telling your family, friends and colleagues about the DES website. We would also appreciate any mention in newsletters, ebulletins, etc to help spread the word about this valuable website as well as likes and follows on Facebook and Twitter. We have posters, postcards and business cards advertising the service so if you would like any for your organisation, social group or service, please ‘contact us‘ with your name and address, details of what you would like and how many and we’ll happily get some in the post to you. Please also let us know if there are other ways you would like to support us.
Thank you for your support and we hope that you enjoy using the website.
The DES Team
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