A mental health charity will receive a major cash boost thanks to a revolutionary car park payment system at a shopping centre.
North East Wales Mind will be getting a cut every time somebody uses the new Hozah: Autopay method at Eagles Meadow in Wrexham after it goes live on Wednesday, July 21.
The system is being installed by new parking technology company Hozah, who say it is a “trouble-free” scheme intended to help ease the payment process for shoppers.
The automatic system does not require cash or apps and drivers don’t have to worry about fines for overstaying.
Once motorists have signed up for Hozah: Autopay, their vehicle will be detected entering and leaving the car park and the driver will be automatically billed for the length of time they spend there.
Hozah has pledged that one per cent of the revenue generated through Hozah: Autopay will be donated to North East Wales Mind.
The good news has come at just the right time for the Mold-based organisation which supports people in Wrexham and Flintshire.
They have experienced a 25 per cent hike in people contacting them during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Representatives of North East Wales Mind, Hozah and Eagles Meadow joined forces at the shopping centre to celebrate the new partnership.
Jenny Murphy, chief executive of the charity, said: “North East Wales Mind is extremely grateful to Hozah for its generous donation of proceeds generated from the new parking system in Eagles Meadow.
“Partnerships like this make a huge difference, helping us fight for better mental health for those who are isolated and struggling.
“The pandemic has seen a 25 per cent increase in people contacting us, so this support is vital.
“North East Wales Mind provides information, counselling, talking therapies, self-management training and wellbeing activities to help people in Wrexham and Flintshire recover from mental health problems and stay emotionally friendly.”
Eagles Meadow has regularly shown support for good causes and centre manager Stuart Bellis at the shopping centre, is pleased North East Wales Mind will benefit from the new arrangement.
“We are delighted to be helping to support North East Wales Mind,” he said.
“We have great respect for the positive work it performs and are pleased that such an admirable cause will be benefiting from the money generated in our car park.”
James Dougherty, operations manager for Hozah, also welcomed the new partnership.
“We are happy to be able to support such an important cause as North East Wales Mind,” he said.
“We are pleased to have been asked to install the new system at Eagles Meadow, which will be of benefit to the people who shop here.
“If people sign up then they will never need to worry about getting a parking ticket.”
Stuart Bellis feels similarly optimistic about the introduction of Hozah: Autopay at the car park, which contains about 970 parking bays.
“It is exciting to be introducing the new automated pay system,” he said.
“This works on a barrier-less system, so it’s much quicker and efficient and allows car park users to sign up once only, after which parking payment will be taken automatically.
“It’s trouble-free and allows people to stay as long as they want.
“At Eagles Meadow we have a very secure and well-lit car park, that is clean and has wide bays. I think this new system will be great for the people who use it.
“It’s also the perfect destination for people with disabilities because of its accessibility. We have plenty of wide parking bays for them and lifts to reach the main retail, leisure and food outlets.”
Hozah is ready to offer a warm welcome to all motorists who use the car park at Eagles Meadow.
Hozah, in partnership with Costa Coffee, will be present at the shopping centre to provide the first 100 drivers who sign up with a free coffee or tea voucher from Wednesday, July 21 to Sunday 25th of July.
It is also offering one lucky motorist the opportunity to bag a year’s free parking if they sign up for the system and their name is drawn out of the hat. The closing date to enter the competition is July 30.
Ninh Hao, Hozah’s strategic development manager, said: “Every time the person who wins the competition comes in and out of the car park they will not be charged for it, no matter how often they use it.
“That will make for a big saving for whoever the winner is if they regularly use the Eagles Meadow car park.”
Once users have signed up, they will not have to do anything else to pay for parking at Hozah-enabled car parks.
Hozah uses the latest smart cameras to see drivers entering and exiting car parks.
“This is a genuine zero-touch system. It will make things a lot easier for car park users,” said Ninh.
“For example, if a mum is shopping with her young children she will not have to find the money to pay for the parking. It will be done automatically.
“We see Hozah: Autopay as the future.”
Croydon-based Hozah has previously installed similar systems across the United Kingdom, including for local authorities and hospitals.
The organisation is excited to now be helping introduce the new payment system at Eagles Meadow, where payment machines will remain for motorists who feel more comfortable with traditional methods.
Ninh added: “Stuart Bellis has been extremely supportive. We are very excited to be working with Eagles Meadow and to be coming to Wales.
“It is a really good shopping centre, where people can go shopping, eat and go to the movies.
“We look forward to customers using autopay.”