A FIRM which offers transport to the elderly and mobility-impaired has expanded to cater for growing demand.
Driving Miss Daisy UK opened its new branch at the Hayling Island Community Centre, which also covers Emsworth, Langstone and Havant.
The companion franchise, which launched in the UK in 2014, offers transportation for the elderly and anyone who is unable to drive, while helping customers stay independent.
The drivers also help users in and out of the car, assist with their shopping, and even accompany them on outings.
Tina Webb, the owner of Driving Miss Daisy’s Hayling branch, said the launch brought the community together to acknowledge a need for keeping its residents ‘mobile, independent and socially engaged.’
She said: ‘Having the ability to change people’s lives in such a positive way is a powerful incentive to start a Driving Miss Daisy business.’
‘The pre-booked service will give those Hayling Islanders who do not drive or have mobility issues a way of staying connected and getting around, whether they are children or older persons, and give peace of mind to families who use us.’
The franchise, which was originally launched in Canada, already has branches open in Lee-on-the-Solent and Port Solent, Portsmouth.
Havant MP Alan Mak attended the launch of the new branch alongside the Mayor of Havant, Councillor Faith Ponsonby.
Mr Mak said: ‘It was a pleasure to help launch a wonderful business that will help local people live more mobile, independent and fulfilling lives.
‘They will be a fantastic community resource for the whole Havant area.’
‘Driving Miss Daisy is a unique and special service for people who can no longer drive themselves and might need the help of a companion so they can escape from their four walls’, added Cllr Ponsonby.
Councillors Colin Mackey, Jackie Branson and Andrew Lenaghan also backed Driving Miss Daisy at its new branch, where customers and clients were invited to be a part of the celebrations.
Peter Derham, 78, says that the service’s help has been ‘invaluable’ since the death of his wife.
He said: ‘Driving Miss Daisy has changed my life, I’ve been able to do so many things.
‘I feel as though my life has been transformed and I am no longer lonely or finding life difficult.’
Pat Webb, 83, says the service has been useful for hospital visits.
She said: ‘The Daisies are friendly and helpful and they stay with you throughout the visit. I look forward to more trips including taking part in their social outings.’