A WOMAN from Malvern says she feels liberated after friends and family joined forces to provide her with a new mobility scooter.

Julie Tomkins has had limited mobility for her whole life, and her husband David used to push her wheelchair until he had a stroke in December 2016.

Since then, getting around the town has been a constant struggle.

Mrs Tomkins, 63, said: “When David had a life changing stroke it was found that he had a heart condition so he can’t push me up the hills in the town.

"His recovery from the stroke has been amazing as we were told he might not survive it.

"To go from not being able to sit up in bed to where he is now is amazing.

READ MORE: Malvern-based fund set up to tackle mental health problems

“We didn’t realise how immobile we both were until we went on holiday to Tenby with friends this summer.

“While we were there I got talking to a lady in the shop about her folding scooter and my friends said ‘you have to have one of these’.”

Julie and David’s friends Adrian and Shelagh Morley decided to help raise the £2,000 needed to buy one of the collapsible scooters, taking on a sponsored walk across the Malvern Hills.

Mr and Mrs Morley took on the walk alongside Julie and David’s son and daughter, Sarah and David.

The group completed the challenge in just under five hours, celebrating with a glass of champagne at the end.

Julie and David took delivery of the new scooter two weeks ago, and she said it has changed her life.

She said: “It is brilliant, we can now go shopping and go all round the town.

READ MORE: Christmas countdown starts with lights switch-on

“It is much easier than the wheelchair, which was very difficult for David to push up the hills, especially with his heart condition.

“This is giving us independence and a new lease of life - every time we go out now it is so much easier.

"We call ourselves Team Tomkins because we both look after each other."

The fundraising appeal gained support from business across the area, along with generous donations from dozens of people Mrs Tomkins did not even know.

She said: "I want to say a big thank you to everyone who donated and all the businesses that got involved.

"It is really special that people we didn't even know decided to help out."