Community bus at the crossroads | The Midsomer Norton & Radstock Journal

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The annual meeting of the local community minibus (Midsomer Norton & Radstock Community Service Vehicle Trust – Reg Charity No 276166) was held at Midsomer Norton Town Hall on October 14th.

Melvyn Johnson, (chairman), underscored the position the organization found itself in following the national COVID pandemic which abruptly halted all operations in March 2020. Since then, the vehicle has been put on hold. shutdown, there is no income other than a welcome grant from the West of England Combined Authority while insurance and necessary repairs have continued.

Nick Rogers, (Vehicle Director), indicated that over the past eighteen months the Peugeot Boxer minibus has been kept in working order, but the need for a necessary part from French manufacturers has not been so far been available from our local dealer. This means that we hope that the spare part will be available in the next few weeks and that our silver minibus will once again become a familiar sight in the area, playing the very important role of getting people out and getting them involved in community activities. .

The president also mentions that retirements have taken place. Stephen Powell, the Trust’s coordinator for many years, and Carol Price both stepped down as directors, leaving only two directors (minimum number required – three). Debbie Gunfield was no longer able to continue as coordinator and Valerie Humphries wanted to leave the management committee. Thank you, Stephen, Carol, Debbie and Val for all of your hard work for the good of the local community! Thanks also to Natalie, Chris, Nick and all the other volunteers for their continued work behind the scenes!

So, what about the future? If the work of the local community minibus is to continue, serving lunch clubs, churches, retirement organizations and the like, then new people to administer will be needed. This is why we are extremely keen to attract members of the community to join the Committee and, in particular, to take on the very important volunteer role of Reservation Coordinator, whose position is currently vacant. In addition, we also need someone to join our team of directors for the responsibility of ensuring that the charity is properly managed. With COVID always with us, thus limiting the number of people carried in the vehicle, as well as all the regulations and requirements to be observed, it will not be easy!

The vision of the original founders, the Midsomer Norton & Radstock Rotary Club and the Local Committee of the Red Cross, has been amply realized since 1967. It would be a shame if this voluntary service for senior members of the community and those who have health problems or impairments and other charities or non-profits in need of a vehicle and driver were allowed to cease due to lack of aids.

Important decisions must be taken in the months that follow. Can you or a local organization help us? Take this into account and call Melvyn Johnson on: 01761 452585 or Nick Rogers on: 01761 413872. Thank you!

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