Community lift charity’s cash drive to purchase new mini bus

Beverley Community Lift is hoping to raise �16,000 so it can buy a new vehicle with a hydraulic wheelchair lift.

Beverley Community Lift is hoping to raise �16,000 so it can buy a new vehicle with a hydraulic wheelchair lift.

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Beverley Community Lift is appealing for help in clearing its last fundraising hurdle, so that it can purchase a new bus for the popular service.

The charity, which provides more than 20,000 individual passenger journeys each year, many of these to people living in Pocklington, needs £16,000 to buy a new vehicle with a hydraulic wheelchair lift, to enable it to carry more disabled people.

Eliza during the tough challenge.

Eliza during the tough challenge.

Beverley Community Lift is a much-loved and relied-on service helping people in the Beverley, Market Weighton and Pocklington areas. The team pride themselves on offering much more than a door-to-door travel service.

It has so far pulled together £12,600 from various fundraising initiatives.

Charity chief executive Jan Stainforth said: “Beverley Community Lift helps a wide variety of people who cannot easily access public transport, and some of our most regular passengers are disabled and in wheelchairs.

“We currently have a Fiat Doblo minibus for picking up wheelchair passengers.

However, the only access is via a ramp which is not easy to use with some passengers, and not very dignified either. With demand from wheelchair users increasing, we need a properly adapted smaller vehicle, with a special lift plus four additional seats for other passengers such as carers or family. At the moment we have to use one of our bigger minibuses, which is not cost effective and very often not available, as they are also used by community groups.

“This is much more than a bus to us.

“It’s literally a vehicle for helping to improve people’s lives and combat social isolation and loneliness.

“Our charity, and our loyal fleet of drivers, are friends and companions to the people we serve and this bus will enable them to afford our users just that little bit more dignity and care.”

The vehicle they have their eye on is a second-hand Renault Master, adapted for wheelchair access, hence the fundraising target.

The fundraising appeal was kicked off in late 2015 by Jan’s colleagues from the BNI Wolds business group, based in Beverley. They decided to organise a charity James Bond themed ball earlier this year, which raised £7,123.

Beverley Community Lift, based in Corporation Road, Beverley, currently has nine buses, all named after flowers, including Poppy, Rosie and Snowdrop.

The BNI-sponsored bus will be called Begonia, echoing the main letters from BNI. Members of the group continue to support Jan, but now they are keen to open up their appeal to the general public, so that Beverley Community Lift can take delivery of its bus sooner rather than later.

Anyone who would like to help Beverley Community Lift reach its target can do so by:

Donating directly via its website at http://www.bclift.org.uk/Donations.html.

Booking a holiday via the TopKat Travel independent local travel agent, which has pledged to donate 10 per cent of its commission on every holiday to Beverley Community Lift under its “Partners in Travel” scheme.

Anyone thinking of booking a holiday can simply click on this link to search for and book their holiday at http://pit.notjusttravel.com/bcl/ - or call Katrina and Sorin on 01482 574334.