How a Kirkcaldy supermarket finally got the message after Charlene’s trolley campaign

A shopping trolley for children with special needs has arrived at a town supermarket thanks to a tireless campaign by a Kirkcaldy mum.

Friday, 1st March 2019, 11:31 am
Updated Friday, 1st March 2019, 12:32 pm
Charlene with her husband Innes and their little boy Gino.

Charlene Londra wanted to have the specially-adapted trolley introduced to her branch of Aldi to help make the weekly shop with her son Gino a little easier.

The three-and-a-half year old has a chromosome disorder, global development delay and epilepsy, and his condition means he has to use a wheelchair.

This has meant that Charlene always needs someone to go with her for the shopping as she is unable to negotiate the supermarket aisles with a trolley and a wheelchair.

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Charlene Londra with the specially-adapted trolley and seat for youngsters with special needs in Aldi, Ferrard Road, Kirkcaldy.

While an adapted trolley is available in Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s in Kirkcaldy, Charlene and her husband Innes really wanted to have one in the store closest to their home – Aldi in Ferrard Road

So the 30-year-old beauty therapist and assistant manager decided to get in touch with store bosses.

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Charlene with her work colleagues and family at Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy with the adapted seating for the childrens' ward. Pic: NHS Fife.

She said: “Aldi is my closest supermarket – and it is a wee bit cheaper.

“When I was doing a food shop I could never get round the store with a trolley and a wheelchair; I always needed to have someone with me.

“I know Firefly, who make the adapted seats, do leaflets saying if you want these 
in your local store tell them why.

“So I wrote Aldi a letter saying I had a little boy who can’t walk and explained why having this trolley would make such a difference to parents of children with special 
needs.

“I handed it in at the beginning of September and never heard anything.

“So I put something on Facebook saying how good it would be to have this trolley in Aldi and got all my friends to share it online.

“I also handed out a lot of leaflets.”

Charlene’s campaign continued until November before she contacted Aldi for an update and she was told the store would be introducing the adapted trolley.

She said: “I went into the store about a month later and asked about the trolley but the staff didn’t know anything about it.

“I emailed Aldi again and only in the last couple of weeks the store got back to me to say it is available – you just have to go in and ask for it.

“I have shared this info’ on my Facebook page and with Rosslyn school where Gino goes.

“This means a lot to me and Innes, who has been incredibly supportive, and it will to other parents who have children with special needs. It means that even if I just need a few things I can nip into the store by myself.

“It is the little things that make a big difference.”

The move comes after two successful fundraisers were held at the Harbour View in Kinghorn in October to raise money for specially adapted seats for youngsters with special needs in the Children’s Ward at Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy.

The fundraisers, which raised £1700, were organised by Charlene’s boss at Bliss Beauty, Christine Cunningham-Smith, with help from work colleagues. Some of the money was also used to buy non-spill cups, DVDs and DVD players for the ward.