Community transport scheme launches ‘urgent’ appeal for volunteers

Existing members of the Churchill and Langford Minibus Society. Picture: Zak Ghent

Existing members of the Churchill and Langford Minibus Society. Picture: Zak Ghent - Credit: Archant

A charity which helps vulnerable people get around has launched an ‘urgent’ appeal for volunteers to avoid scaling back its services.

Since it was first set up in 1974, Churchill and Langford Minibus Society has helped transport elderly and disabled villagers to and from community events around the district.

In 2016, the Department for Transport awarded the society a second 12-seat minibus, allowing the charity to double the number of services it provides.

Each month the society runs scheduled trips to Winscombe, Weston, Nailsea, Yatton, Wells, Clevedon and Worle.

It also organises quarterly visits to Bristol, Bath and Wells.

The society is membership-based and free to use.

The community transport scheme offers users a life-line; transporting them to and from everyday appointments, such as visits to the doctor or trips to see family and friends.

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The society is appealing’ appeal for volunteers, following the retirement of a number of its drivers, to help keep its services running.

Alan Purcell, of the Churchill and Langford Minibus Society, says volunteers who are willing to work as little as once a month could prevent the society from scaling back its services.

He said: “Some drivers only drive once a month, others fortnightly and some weekly. We are grateful for any time individuals can make available.”

Mr Purcell says members have benefitted significantly from the buses they have had access to through the community transport scheme.

He said: “Many members don’t live near bus routesand would have to make a significant walk to a bus stop, which they are often unable to do.

“Those buses may not even be going to where they want to go.

“When members go shopping we always drop them back at their homes.

“Wheelchair users are regularly taken to hospital, as well as to GP, dentist and optician’s appointments.

“We help members attend funerals, family gatherings and Christmas events - all for a small donation.”

To a volunteer as a bus driver for the Churchill and Langford Minibus Society, contact Malcolm Letts on 01934 852314.

To find out more about membership or the society’s scheduled journeys, contact Laura Batt on 01934 863679.