Rising costs hit charity bus service

Rocky road ahead for Axe Valley and West Dorset Ring and Ride service which desperately needs more funds

CASH-strapped Axe Valley and West Dorset Ring and Ride service is facing another bumpy ride this year.

It has already had to take one vehicle out of service and urgently needs to raise funds to keep the wheels turning on its remaining bus.

Chairman Sandra Ward said: “We really do need help with money at the moment – many, many peoples’ independence, by using our services, need it.

“The cost of hiring a bus from Devon County Council is now so high we have had to hand it back and now rely only on one bus.

“It’s a shame because we can offer so much more of a service with two.”

Amongst regular users of the bus are Woodbury Park residents, neighbours Jean Cox and June Chinchen who pay �5 to go on a weekly shopping trip. They said they would be really sad if the service had to close because of a lack of funding.

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Said Mrs Cox: “It would be a great shame - for people with no transport it’s a godsend. It is a social occasion, too, and helps to alleviate loneliness. We travel to the shops and we love it – it makes a lovely morning out for people who live alone.”

Now the charity is urging people to support its next big fund raiser – a coffee morning on Thursday, February 2, in the church Rooms at Axminster between 9am and 11.30 am.

Added Ms Ward: “Hopefully it will help to raise some much needed funds to help us meet all our bills by the end of the financial year.

“If anyone would like to help us at the coffee morning, or has unwanted gifts and items suitable for sale we would be delighted to accept these.

“People should please leave items either at my home, 2 The Orchard, Kilmington, or at my brothers’ business, Paul the Barbers, Broad Street, Lyme Regis.”