Praise for vital community transport link

PUBLISHED: 14:22 10 July 2013 | UPDATED: 14:27 10 July 2013

TRIP Community Transport Association staff pictured with the chairman of the charity Val Royle (far right).

TRIP Community Transport Association staff pictured with the chairman of the charity Val Royle (far right).

Archant

Honiton-based TRIP Community Transport Association helps more than a quarter of a million people over the last 10 years.

A vital community transport link in Honiton has helped over a quarter of a million people get to their destinations over the last 10 years and is still going strong today.

The chairman of TRIP Community Transport Association Val Royle discussed the charity’s transformation during this time at its annual meeting at Honiton Methodist Church Hall.

She said: “The number of people we are transporting is ever increasing because community transport is such an important part of people’s lives these days.

“Over the ten years we have transported a quarter of a million people, which is no small number.”

Mrs Royle said that since manager Neil Hurlock joined TRIP the organisation has ‘moved forward tremendously’ and had changed and adapted to the trends and needs of the community it serves.

The Honiton-based charity provides a number of services including weekly shopping trips, weekends away, a voluntary car service and the ACORNS befriending service.

TRIP expanded its New Street office in 2011 and to date the additional space is being well utilised but more is needed.

During the last 10 years it has had to adapt to dramatic reductions in grants - maintenance grants have reduced from 80 per cent in 2003 to under 50 per cent.

Mrs Royle added: “This has involved a lot of hard work particularly fundraising efforts and a lot of innovation sufficient to allow us to do this.”

The rising sales of disability aids have helped to provide the charity with a steady income, which has ensured the sustainability of the charity.

Mrs Royle said: “All of our staff are to be congratulated on their efforts, which have ensured the sustainability of TRIP and its services.”

TRIP will soon be adding to its existing fleet of vehicles in response to the growing demand for community transport services.

In the early days it only had two mini buses, both of which belonged to Devon County Council.

Mrs Royle also spoke of the success of the voluntary car service in Honiton, Seaton and Lyme Regis, which saw volunteer drivers make more than 6,000 journeys over the past year.

It covers 35 parishes and last year carried 5,306 people.

She said this was largely due to the fact that TRIP had ‘stepped into the breach’ following the withdrawal of the hospital car service.

Mrs Royle thanked all the volunteers and staff at TRIP for their dedicated service and said: “Without all of you TRIP would not exist and the community would be much the poorer.”

For more information on TRIP’s services, call 01404 46529 or pop in to its office at New Street.


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