Members of Rother Valley Together which runs day care activities and a lunch club in Midhurst for elderly and vulnerable people is celebrating the arrival of their new £38,000 life line minibus.
Treasurer of RVT Colin Hughes told the Observer RVT had taken over its previous bus from West Sussex County Council when the county council axed its day care service in Midhurst and the new voluntarily run RVT service took over.
“It had 134,000 on the clock and last winter we had difficulties with it, so we knew it would have to be replaced before this winter arrived.
The new bus will provide a vital service picking up elderly and vulnerable people from as far afield as Kirdford, Plaistow, Fernhurst, Lodsworth and Petworth and bringing them to the Grange centre in Midhurst for a programme of activities and lunch four days a week.
“The new bus will enable us to expand our service,” said Colin, “as we want to be able to offer membership of RVT to more people and bring them in to the Grange at Midhurst from other outlying parishes such as Heyshott, Rogate and South Harting.
“We used the old bus for outings and this new state of the art vehicle will mean we can be more adventurous with our outings and take our members further afield.”
“The new bus is a life line to many of our members who would otherwise be unable to get to the Grange and see their friends here.
“It is absolutely essential to have this transport in this rural area to prevent social isolation.”
The bus has been specially converted for RVT.
It can transport 12 people and has a lift so that people in wheelchairs can be transported, unlike the old county council bus and access is also easier.
Funds to buy the desperately needed vehicle have been donated by the Boltini Trust and there has also been a donation from an RVT member.
“We are still applying for grants from other organisations and our members, who value and clubs are also keen to get involved in fund raising. We would really like also to hear from anyone out there who would like to help us reach our target,” said Colin.
He can be contacted on 07763766434.
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