Northampton mini-bus service that helps 800 otherwise stranded needs votes to win vital £25,000

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A Northampton mini-bus service, which supports 800 people on 25,000 trips per year, is pledging for votes to help win thousands of pounds to aid the disabled, isolated and elderly people in the county.

The Door to Door Service of St James’ Mill Road, helps Northamptonshire residents, who are not able-bodied, to overcome the barriers that prevent people with disabilities from playing an active part in their wider community.

The charity is calling on the community to submit their votes for the Aviva Community Fund before November 18, to help win £25,000 to keep this vital wheelchair-access mini-bus running.

Sam Towell, chairman of the trustees said: “The Northampton Door to Door Service (NDDS) provides a service for disabled and frail elderly people to help them engage with society and live a more independent life more involved in the community. This helps reduce isolation and social exclusion and encourages them to regularly relate and communicate with others.

“Our service enables our users to participate in personal, social, educational and religious activities. To achieve these benefits NDDS provides easily accessible low-cost transport assistance and helps our service users get from their front door to any local destination of their choice.”

Every year financial assistance is needed to support the essential maintenance of the bus, as well as mandatory health and safety checks and associated running costs, such as fuel and insurance.

Office staff and drivers at the Door to Door service rely on computerised logs and communication systems to efficiently run the lifeline bus, which helps to take residents to medical appointments.

Mr Towell added: “Voting on the Aviva Community Fund website for the Northampton Door to Door service will help us win a financial award and continue our valuable service.

Funding cuts from “cash-strapped” councils, national and other municipal bodies, have considerably reduced the operating income available for next year leaving the charity considering other forms of funding alternatives.

A spokesperson for the charity said: “There are rising numbers of local residents requiring the charity’s assistance to avoid being housebound and isolated.

“More resources would help to meet the existing and ever-growing demand. This appeal is for a much-needed award to maintain this charity’s capability to cope with the requests it receives.

“The alternatives are unthinkable, when this is the only such service in Northampton.”

Vote for the service here: https://community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/16-1625