Tel: 01636 555033
We've Got Newark and Sherwood Covered


New charity appeals for funding to set up community transport for Blidworth

Posted onPosted on 11th May

An appeal is under way for volunteers to help set up a specialised charity transport service for residents of Blidworth and the surrounding area.

Blidworth – On The Move, a voluntary transport service, initially has one appropriately-equipped vehicle for taking people to hospital and medical appointments — and more.

An initial £11,500 appeal is intended to provide a service not only during the coronavirus pandemic, but beyond.

Organisers said the project, which has already been supported by local businesses, would support the most vulnerable and isolated in the community — those with special needs, the elderly, sick, infirm, disabled or poor who were unable to access public transport.

Gilly Hagen, chair of the charity, said: “For these citizens it is essential to keep to regular or routine treatments and reviews at their local GP surgery, or they may need to attend hospital for treatment or a specific out-patient resource.

“This scheme will aim to ensure the safety and well-being of these people and reduce the risks to their lives from not receiving the appropriate treatment or reviews of their long-term conditions.

“Blidworth is an isolated village with the nearest taxi service several miles away. It has lacked a provision of this type and any support has previously been on an adhoc basis and dependent on another voluntary transport scheme, based in Ravenshead.

“That arrangement has ceased due to a lack of resources and capacity.

“We believe similar schemes to the one we are establishing are not so focused on the safety of vulnerable people.

“Until now the partner scheme run by the local volunteer Patient Participation Group, led by the Newark and Sherwood NHS CCG volunteer Patient Leader, has provided patients at the Abbey Medical Group with a befriending advice service and general support.

“The partners of the GP Practice are very supportive of this new charity, Blidworth – On The Move, as they see an important need being met, protecting lives locally, together with the ongoing monitoring and support of such a rounded community service.”

Thanks to the support of local family business Rainworth Fencing, the vehicle has been adapted to take a wheelchair if necessary and has sufficient space to ensure adequate social distance spacing for all occupants as well as a perspex divider to protect passengers and the driver. PPE equipment in the vehicle will meet NHS England Covid-19 guidance and the driver will follow the same guidance when operating the vehicle.

Now the charity is appealing for sufficient funding to establish the project as soon as possible.
Blidworth – On The Move requires funding for fuel, insurance, maintenance, cleaning, PPE equipment, fire extinguisher etc. In addition, funds are required to help in establishing a base for the project, along with any relevant office equipment and promotional support.

Gilly added: “We estimate initial funding of around £11,500 is needed. This project will continue beyond the present crisis providing what we believe will rapidly become a much-needed cohesive community resource.

“We are currently using Sherwood Forest Community Church as our main supporting organisation, whilst we get the charity formalities completed. As a project we are seeking funding and commitment from a number of providers, including the local parish council and the church amongst others.

“We need volunteers — to drive, help with phone lines, admin, a website etc. Anyone interested should ring 079159 29936… look out for us around the villages.”