Scooter shed tribute to campaigner Charlie

Charlie Hutfield
Charlie Hutfield
Some of the Mayville High School pupils who have become members of Mensa   Picture:  Malcolm Wells (180425-5690)

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IT’S taken 13 years – but now a campaign to get a mobility scooter shed built for the people of a Somers Town block of flats has been won.

Residents at Edgbaston House gathered to celebrate the opening of the new shed behind the block of flats yesterday afternoon.

Sonia Hutfield named the building after her husband Charlie, 78, a former Edgbaston House Residents Association chairman who lost a short battle with lung cancer in 2009.

A plaque with his name on was unveiled at the entrance.

Mr Hutfield began a campaign to get a mobility scooter store for residents at the flats in Sedgley Close in 1999.

Sonia, 80, said: ‘It’s been a bit overwhelming. Charlie was loved by everyone. The residents came to him with their problems.

‘If anyone had a bulb that needed fitting he would be there in a flash. This shed is going to be so handy for people because by the time you fit a mobility scooter into a one-bedroom flat there’s hardly any room.

‘This will help to get the elderly out and about.’

The building work, which took six months to complete, was carried out by Somers Town Regeneration Project and Shaw Trust, a national charity which helps people with disabilities find work.

The new shed will house up to 14 mobility scooters.

Maria Cole, 68, who has lived at Edgbaston House for five years, said: ‘It’s sad that Charlie wasn’t able to be here.

‘But the new shed is good news for us all. We have waited a long time for this to happen.

‘Charlie was a nice man who was always friendly to me.’

Music was played for residents and members of Portsmouth City Council were present at the unveiling.

Lib Dem councillor Rob Wood said: ‘This is a victory for the residents, especially for Sonia. I’m proud to be a part of this occasion.’

Cllr Steven Wylie, cabinet member for housing, added: ‘Charlie Hufield worked hard for the local residents so I think it’s fitting that a brand new facility that people living in Edgbaston House will benefit from should be dedicated to him.’