This July family-run Sheffield mobility company Clark & Partners celebrate 60 years of business! With four stores across South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire, as well as their work with local councils and the University of Derby, business has changed quite a bit over the last six decades. This will be celebrated as a team with a garden party in July to mark the occasion.
Starting life as a car repairs garage in 1963, Clark & Partners has evolved to become retailers of a vast range of mobility solutions as well as providers of home adaptations. But how did this dramatic change come about?
Following the inception of the NHS in 1948, the Invalid Mobility Scheme promised to provide free vehicles to those with disabilities, primarily those left with life changing injuries after the Second World War. The year before, Bert Greeves had designed a lightweight carriage for his cousin. Greeves’ company went on to make vehicles for the disabled for the next thirty years, like the Thundersley Invacar Model 70. Clark & Partners were one of the companies given a government contract to maintain these vehicles in addition to doing everything a regular garage did. It was here their journey to becoming mobility specialists began.
Fast forward to now and there is still a garage at Clark & Partners HQ. However, this now focuses on modifying cars to include adaptations that make it easier to drive or be a passenger for those with mobility needs, including the transportation of mobility equipment. But this is just one aspect of a brand that has strived to know all there is to know about products and services that make mobility easy. From simple products like a long-handled shoehorn to whole-home adaptations, they’ve made it their business to know what the customer needs.
Customers are at the forefront of everything at Clark & Partners. There’s no pushy sales pitches and some products they won’t even think about selling online because they believe in personally working with the customer to find the ideal solution for them. Staff have even trained to become Level Four Trusted Assessors to be able to see the customer’s needs in a way that’s closer to how Occupational Therapists see them. Working alongside local councils, they’ve gained unique and increased insight into what people living with disabilities need at home to maintain their independence and dignity.
As a result, as well as mobility aids, Clark & Partners can carry out home modifications. From a simple outdoor ramp to whole property adaptations, they’ve made it their business to know all there is to know. And, reassuringly, how different elements work alongside one another.
The focus on getting the customer just what they need is embedded in the company at every level. There are no pushy sales techniques. Shop staff won’t sell a customer so much as a shower stool if it doesn’t fit their requirements! That means the retailers have a vast range of products to ensure they can cater for everyone.
Clark & Partners understand that, given the area they specialise in, not everyone can visit a store to purchase what they need. That’s why, as well as a fantastic range available to buy online and have delivered, they offer free home assessments. Their specialists can visit customers’ homes to discuss the perfect product for them. They can even bring along a scooter or powerchair, for example, for them to try out.
As well as caring about their customers, Clarks care about the wider community. To coincide with turning sixty, they’re raising funds for South Yorkshire Chaplaincy and Listening services. SYCL is a faith-based charity motivated by Christian ethos & values, that aims to provide confidential pastoral care through chaplaincy & listening services. Their services give people the opportunity to talk about the things that are troubling them. Empowering people through listening. C&P Business Manager Donna Bennett explains why SYCL was chosen and how the company are supporting them:
Weathering the storms and riding the waves of life (and business) can leave us feeling tired, vulnerable and in need of a supportive and listening ear. SYCLS provide this in many different working environments across the city, helping individuals and organisations to take time and space to understand and address what may be difficult life circumstances.
We are holding in company staff fund raising such as raffles etc with many prizes being provided by some of the suppliers and manufacturers we work with, who have been super generous in supporting our efforts.
You can help us to encourage the work of this brilliant local charity by donating directly through JustGiving which is simple, fast and totally secure.
Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity. So it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity.
You can give any of our local stores a call to discuss products or arrange a home assessment:
Gleadless- 0114 239 0610
Orgreave- 0114 229 3391
Wickersley- 01709 547402
Derby- 01332 200 075