Day three of the official General Election campaign saw a packed day for Steve Brine, as he spoke to a large number of residents, attended a packed village meeting and joined in the launch of a fantastic new community minibus.
Steve spent the morning with his team in Oliver's Battery as they spoke to local people about a range of national and local issues, including the formulation of the local parish plan. The village held a packed special meeting that evening, at Oliver's Battery Primary School, which he attended, as they heard from a range of younger people about what they needed as the parish plans its future.
Sandwiching the day's events in Oliver's Battery, Steve took time out to visit Colden Common, where he joined up with the Colden Common Community Care Trust as they unveiled their new minibus. Steve said: "I was delighted to play a (very) small part in the fundraising, and as well as being there today to see the fantastic new minibus, I know that the team are looking for more volunteer drivers, so please do let them know if you would like to help."
The Care Group was started in the early 1980's and has continued since then to try and help those in need of help within Colden Common.
They offer three main services; a weekly lunch club for 24 elderly residents, volunteer car transport offering help to those who find public transport difficult in attending hospital, doctors, dentists and other health appointments and a community minibus offering door to door help for those residents who have difficulty using public transport.
It was in the autumn of 1982 when thanks to the endeavours of a number of individuals and the support of the local community, that the first minibus, a ten year old Ford Transit was purchased from the Ambulance service.
The main reason for the purchase of the minibus was to assist elderly residents to visit shopping centres which could not be accessed by them due to a reduction in public transport and the buses not serving those locations
Since then a succession of minibuses, four in total, with the latest, the first that was purchased new in 2006 after a marathon fund raising campaign.
The current minibus is adapted for wheelchair use with both removable and folding seats, and a ramp at the rear with an electric hoist. The wheelchair ramp is regularly used by a number of organisations, not only for wheelchairs but for passengers unable to use the normal steps.
In addition to being used for the regular twice weekly shopping trips, the bus also collects elderly residents including wheelchair users to attend the weekly Lunch Club.
Other village organisations, Friendship Club, Rainbow Playgroup, Primary School, regularly use the bus.
Two local care homes use the mini bus on a regular basis to take residents, the majority unable to use transport not adapted for wheelchair use, on outings.
Steve also took a team out to Weeke, where they spoke to local people on doorsteps while the weather could best be described as mixed, before returning to Oliver's Battery in the evening.
He continued: "I was also very impressed at the turnout in Oliver's Battery for the launch of the consultations on their parish plan. The evidence presented from Buriton, which began this process ten years ago, was superb, and this will I am sure be the start of a fantastic consultation which will maximise the talent of local residents."
Pictured; Steve Brine attends the launch of the new minibus, and out with some of the team in Oliver's Battery
More information ...
Watch a special video from the minibus launch, Steve in conversation with Jenny Gray from the Care Trust >>
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