Middleton-based community development organisation Health For All is starting a Community Cabs service, which offers an accessible car to carry a wheelchair passenger – and a couple of friends, colleagues and carers – to destinations of their choice.
The pilot cab service will complement Health For All’s fleet of fully accessible minibuses which already provide a lifeline to hundreds of local school children, community groups, adults with learning difficulties and elderly social groups each week.
Heath For All community transport manager Norman Mann said:
“The idea for Community Cabs came from our users. Rather than have to hire a whole minibus to transport them they wanted something a bit smaller and more personal.
“It’s a great way for people with disabilities to get out and about, access services, go to the doctors’ , hospital visits or appointments or do their shopping etc – normal day to day stuff which may otherwise prove difficult.”
Health For All Chief Executive Pat McGeever added:
“There’s increasing recognition that social isolation is really bad for people’s health – both physical and mental.
“As ever, Health for All wants to make it easier for people to access the services that improve people’s wellbeing, so this initiative is a great step towards that. It’s well known that volunteering is great for your health – so that’s a good reason to join us and be part of this great initiative!”
Community Cabs will start on April 1 and Mr Mann is recruiting volunteer car drivers from the local community to help deliver the service.
Mr Mann added:
“If you have a clean driving licence and have time to spare, why not give something back to your community and volunteer to be a driver? All out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed. It’s a chance to meet new people, visit new places and make new friends.”
The low-cost pilot service will be charging a booking fee and there will be a small mileage charge for members. A small annual membership fee allows members to access all transport supplied by HFA.
To volunteer or for more details on Community Cabs contact Norman Mann on 0113 2725151. A form to volunteer for the scheme is also available at www.healthforall.org.uk.