Two new buses on the way for Dial a Ride team

Dial a ride Tim Lawson and Julie Banks celebratre funding success. .pic Richard Ponter 151403
Dial a ride Tim Lawson and Julie Banks celebratre funding success. .pic Richard Ponter 151403

A Scarborough charity which helps people get out and about has secured funding towards two new minibuses.

Scarborough Dial a Ride, based at Londesborough Road Business Park, has been successful in securing cash from North Yorkshire County Council and the Department for Transport.

The charity is now able to replace two of its older minibuses with brand new models.

Manager Julie Banks said: “We’re really pleased and we feel like we’ve been quite lucky really. Not all groups were eligible for the funding.

“We got a letter from the Department for Transport saying they were pleased to support us.

“Now we just wait to hear back from them regarding the procurement of the minibus.”

She added that the separate successful bid, from North Yorkshire County Council, will provide half the funding for a second replacement bus.

Julie explained that one of the buses due to be replaced is eight years old and has 120,000 miles on the clock.

She said: “They’re out on the road all the time and they do get a lot of wear and tear.”

Dial a Ride currently has a fleet of 10 minibuses and a fully accessible car, which is used for longer journeys such as hospital appointments in Hull or York.

The charity helps people make local journeys who might otherwise find it hard to get out and about.

This includes older members of the community and also people of all ages with disabilities.

The charity relies on a team of volunteer drivers and passenger escorts to provide the much-valued service.

There are currently 45 volunteers and more are being sought so that the service can be expanded.

Julie said: “We’re up to capacity on some days and we want to be able to open up other buses.

“We’re looking for people who can give at least one full day a week.

“It’s a role suited to people who like getting out and about and who are physically fit and well.

“Volunteer drivers need a full driving licence and training will be given - along with plenty of tea and biscuits!

“Passenger escorts help people on and off the buses and make sure they get safely to their front door.”

Julie added that the roles are very rewarding and many volunteers have gone on to gain paid employment after gaining valuable skills.

Anyone who is interested in either role is asked to call (01723) 354434 and ask for Julie or Tim.

The services covers Scarborough, Filey and beyond - for more details about journey types and prices, call the office or go to www.scarboroughdialaride.org