January saw us leaving our premises in Castle Street to move to Churchfields Trading Estate where we had recently taken on a unit for accommodating our minibuses. We now have a smart office in the Paxton Business Centre where we can offer training courses, photocopying facilities, payroll support and answer any transport requests for hiring our minibuses.
In April we hosted our first Annual General Meeting in our new premises which was attended by over 40 people including the then Deputy Mayor, Councillor Derek Brown. It was a great event showcasing all our services, projects and our fleet of minibuses. (You may have seen the article in the Salisbury Journal!)
Throughout the year we have continued to transport pupils with special needs to both Exeter House and Salisbury College. We have also provided the local Day Centres with transport and other ad hoc excursions for the elderly and disabled to various local places and events.
The Five Rivers Shuttle Bus was launched in June to take people from the city centre to the Leisure Centre and back. Currently this is running as a one year pilot, if it is successful it could be extended to more days so please do make use of it if you can. The timetable can be found on our website and is also often included in the weekly newsletter.
In October we welcomed our newest driver Richard Goodman, who many of you will know from his many years serving the community as part of the local Neighbourhood Policing Team. Sadly we haven’t been allowed to fit the minibuses with blue flashing lights but Richard has settled in well to the team and is enjoying driving our clients at a sedate speed!
We have also been lucky enough to be awarded a brand new minibus from the Department of Transport’s Community Transport Minibus Fund. The VW Crafter 16 with air conditioning was delivered in November, fully sign written with our logo and contact details.
Some of the benefits of this minibus are the improved access of a wider electric step with safety handles plus the latest tail lift. Also only one seat needs to be removed to accommodate a single wheelchair. This comfortable bus will be very useful for all our community work. If your group would like to use the bus for a day trip please contact us to discuss your requirements.
Our training courses have once again proved very popular this year and we are already taking bookings for next year. The courses are aimed at the Voluntary Sector, charities and community groups, but we are more than happy for individuals from small businesses to take advantage of the training as this often makes the course become financially viable to run and enables us to run a variety of courses over the year. If there is a course you would like that isn’t on our programme please contact Louise to discuss. Please feel free to forward our training emails to anyone you know who may be interested.
Lastly a huge thank you to all of you who have supported Wessex Community Action throughout the year. Those of you who hire our minibuses, make use of our payroll services, come on our courses make it all worth our while. Hope you had a very merry Christmas and we look forward to an active 2017!