A DELIGHTED transport group brought along its oldest passenger to celebrate putting its new minibus on the road.
Edith Porter, 105, of Great Sutton, joined in the smiles when Ellesmere Port & Neston Community Transport received the shiny Smiley Bus from the Morgan Foundation in Carden, near Chester.
The bus was handed over by Jane Harris of the foundation, which, among other activities, provides minibuses to eligible organisations.
This now brings the fleet for Community Transport, which was founded six years ago and is based in Dover Drive, Ellesmere Port, up to six.
Vice-chair Betty Smith said they provide “an important, much-needed service” not just for the elderly but also the disabled, youngsters and other people across the borough.
She added: “It goes without saying we are more than grateful to the Morgan Foundation for having faith in us to deliver a service to the community.”
The fully accessible bus, coupled with the rest of the fleet, will enable the group to enhance the lifestyles of the many borough residents who use their services.
Mrs Smith added: “In many cases this helps to alleviate isolation which improves the quality of life for many.”
Among the services provided, for which people should register beforehand, are transport for the disabled, women’s safe transport, affordable community transport and a community car scheme.
The buses with their small group of volunteer drivers – “unsung heroes” according to Mrs Smith – make 40,000 trips a year for all types of community groups from toddlers to a stroke club and older people’s organisations.
She says, however, that the need for more volunteer drivers is “more than desperate” as, with growing demand, they are unable to help sometimes.
To volunteer as a driver you should be aged over 21 and hold a full driving licence. Details from Neil Sinclair on 0151 355 3739.