Sidmouth Voluntary Services nets new �38k bus

KIND-hearted volunteers at a valued Sidmouth charity were delighted to welcome a brand new �38,000 mini-bus this week.

KIND-hearted volunteers at a valued Sidmouth charity were delighted to welcome a brand new �38,000 mini-bus this week.

Driving forces behind Twyford House based Sidmouth Voluntary Services hope the new addition will boost them in helping residents in need.

The 14-seat Peugeot Boxer replaces one of the charity’s three-strong fleet and is fitted with extras such as a reversing camera and plenty of room for luggage and shopping.

Sidmouth Volunteer Services Chairman Hilary Hatherley said extra room in the “newer, bigger and better” bus will help the service assist more people.

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“We take anybody and everybody,” said Hilary, “we are here and will have been here for 50 years in 2012. We are always looking for more customers, more drivers and more volunteer helpers.

“I hope the new bus will do a lot of good for people in the town. It will be used four or five times a week.

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“We do a lot of shopping trips, and bring people to lunches we host from Monday to Friday. People can use it for outings at weekends if we can find the drivers. It’s great and it looks good.”

Hilary had a special word of praise for the charity’s trio of volunteer drivers. “They work so hard, and do a tremendous job,” said Hilary, a former driver for the service herself, “they carry shopping bags up stairs and always look after people.”

Sidmouth Volunteer Services also provides a car to take residents in need to medical appointments. Hilary revealed the charity had to dip into its savings to buy the mini-bus and said fundraising ideas for the cause are always welcome.

She added: “We’ve been going a long time, and have been very successful. Unfortunately we spend more money each month than we take in, but that’s life. At least we have no grants from anybody so we shouldn’t suffer from these projected cuts.”

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