CRUCIAL transport for older people in the community was given a boost after a Havant charity received government funding for a new minibus.
Community First, which supports voluntary sector projects, bought the bus using funds from the Department of Transport, which will be used to provide transport for people across Havant.
This follows a £50,000 National Lottery grant the charity received to fund its Silver Linings social club for the over-55s at Hewitt’s community centre in Emsworth.
Last week, Havant MP Alan Mak tested out the new minibus, and met users of the service at Hewitt’s.
Mr Mak said: ‘I’m delighted that government funds have allowed Community First to buy a new minibus. I enjoyed seeing first-hand the superb work done by the staff and volunteers and seeing the new bus in action.
‘They’re a fantastic charity which I’m proud to fully support.’
In addition to providing transport for the Silver Linings project, the charity also runs a lunch club Monday to Thursday. The club is staffed by The Right to Work Community Interest Company (CIC) who offer workplace experience for people with learning disabilities.
Community First’s chief executive Tim Houghton said: ‘It was a pleasure to welcome Alan Mak to see our new minibus in action. It will be a vital resource that helps us continue our work helping older people locally, and we’re grateful to Alan for his support.
‘The lunch clubs are an important part of our community work, so the new minibuses are vital if we are to continue providing this service to some of our less mobile members.’
Mr Mak is holding a Older Person’s Information Fair on October 14 at Hayling Island Community Centre. It will showcase what services are available for older people.