New Minibus for Local Charity thanks to Essex County Council Covid Response Fund

Posted on: July 26, 2021

Community360 is celebrating after taking delivery of a new community minibus. They have been helped to continue to operate a safe and responsive community transport service thanks to extra funding from the Essex County Council Covid Response
Fund.
Essex County Council has received funding from the Department of Health and Social Care to support the increased demand on voluntary and community sector services during the pandemic. £44,000 has been awarded to Community360 to fund
a new minibus as well as to help develop its valuable transport service to the community.
Tracy Rudling, CEO at Community360 said: “This vital funding support will enable us to continue to offer enhanced Community Transport services for our beneficiaries. So many people in our community struggle to get to places through lack of
accessible transport, this new minibus will have a huge impact on what we can offer
and will greatly enhance our ability to provide services for those disadvantaged in our area.” She added: “Voluntary and Community Services really stepped up during the pandemic to provide support to communities. We helped people to stay connected and provided first line, self-organised community support to those in need.
We also provided transport to Clinically Extremely Vulnerable people to vaccination appointments in Colchester and Maldon. Moving forward we want to continue and improve our transport offering and this crucial funding will really help us to do that.”
“We are very pleased to have been able to support Commuity360 with funding for a replacement van and other necessary equipment.” Said, Cllr McKinlay, Deputy Leader of ECC and Cabinet Member for Community, Equality, Partnership and
Performance. She added: “They have done a fantastic job, which has included providing transport to those who are particularly vulnerable and need to be more isolated when travelling. We are very grateful to the staff and volunteers for the valuable service
they provide.”
As well as offering help with shopping trips and medical appointments, their social excursions for Community Transport members will also now recommence to encourage people to re-engage socially, helping to combat loneliness. With more minibuses on the road, to help with social distancing, staff and volunteer drivers have also been issued with recognisable uniforms to increase passenger assurance and to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. C360 have also launched a new recruitment campaign and looking for volunteer transport drivers.
“Unfortunately, many of our drivers stepped down during the pandemic for various reasons, and some have returned to work from being furloughed.” Said Tracy. “Our volunteers play such an important role in being able to offer this service. Therefore, if you are considering volunteering or have some spare time, please come forward. It will be rewarding, fulfilling and give you a real sense of purpose.”
For more information on volunteering contact: https://www.community360.org.uk/services/volunteering/

Author: Steering Member
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Categories: News

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