HVOSS pilot new minibus sharing scheme around the county

Ledbury Reporter: HVOSS is piloting a new minibus sharing scheme: (l-r) Project manager Rachael Manacchini-Godfrey with Stuart Townsend of Age UK Hereford and Locality and John Eden, chief executive of Herefordshire Vision Links, with the Age UK minibus. (6371218) Picture: HVOSS is piloting a new minibus sharing scheme: (l-r) Project manager Rachael Manacchini-Godfrey with Stuart Townsend of Age UK Hereford and Locality and John Eden, chief executive of Herefordshire Vision Links, with the Age UK minibus. (6371218) Picture:

A VOLUNTARY group needs help to launch a transport initiative to keep people moving in the county.

Herefordshire Voluntary Organisations Support Service (HVOSS) want not-for-profit groups that own a minibus or multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) to consider lending them to community groups when they aren't in use.

The minibuses will be used around the county to provide transport for people and groups who need assistance, whether for a day trip or a one-stop visit.

Those who get involved with the Minibus Link Scheme (MLS) will receive a monetary contribution towards the vehicle's running costs.

HVOSS development manager, Sarah Bateman, said: "By linking lenders with borrowers, MLS assists with both economic efficiency and community transport needs. We aim to make transport accessible to all community groups, helping to keep minibuses and MPVs well-maintained and well-used by everyone.”

Last week, MLS successfully brokered its first share between Age UK Hereford and Localities, which lent a 15-passenger minibus to Herefordshire Vision Links for a day trip.

The use of the minibus allowed the charity - which supports people who suffer with sight loss - to run a day trip to an exhibition in Shrewsbury.

Age UK chief executive, Ruth Nice, said: “Accessible transport provides a much needed link for everyone. We urge other Herefordshire organisations to join this scheme to ensure that more people are able to access transport.”

MLS is also looking for volunteer drivers to join the scheme.

HVOSS provide information, guidance and support to voluntary community organisations and groups in Herefordshire.

The group offers a range of support services to charities, community groups, village hall committees, sports and leisure clubs and social enterprises.

To join the scheme, or to find out more, call Rachael Manacchini-Godfrey at HVOSS on 01432 343932.

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