The team at Go North Devon (GND) have launched an urgent appeal to raise £61,000 to replace our existing wheelchair accessible Ring & Ride minibus. The current minibus has been in service for 10 years and is no longer fuel efficient and due to its rapidly declining condition (despite planned maintenance and servicing) and high mileage it is sadly becoming uneconomical to repair.
To ensure continuity of the Ring & Ride service we need to raise the funds, buy a vehicle and arrange for it to be converted. The lead in time from order, conversion to delivery can be as much as 3 months, making this a time critical appeal.
Our clients depend on the generosity of compassionate people who understand the importance of helping others who have reached a time in their lives when a little extra support to help retain their independence is a necessity not a luxury.
Our Ring & Ride service operates in a largely rural area around North Devon for people who have problems accessing services and local facilities due to disability, ill health, frailty and rural isolation as a result of the lack of private and public transport. Many of our clients have physical or sensory disabilities. As the trend for people to continue living in their own homes and maintain their independence as they become frailer continue to rise, make it essential this service keeps running.
Our service allows passengers to not only do their weekly shopping but also to attend vital health appointments, collect important prescriptions, hire a wheelchair or scooter from our Shopmobility Centre based in Barnstaple. Additionally the service provides passengers with an opportunity to engage socially with fellow passengers which helps to reduce loneliness and low level mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Many of our clients who live alone have formed new friendships and have enjoyed the social contact with other passengers and volunteers. Jean from Barnstaple said Ive been using Ring & Ride for over 20 years now since I stopped driving. I really dont know what I would do without it and Dianne from Newport said the Ring & Ride service matters because Its the only time I get to go out shopping and is the highlight of my week. I have made new friends here and I dont want to lose the service.
Each Ring & Ride journey makes a positive change an opportunity to see friends or family, feel part of the community, to access services, retain a sense of freedom or to just get out of the house.