Community bus lifeline is saved

Driver Tim Hicks, transport manager Shirley Paterson and Trinity Centre trustee Rodney Natriss and some users of the Trinity Centre

Driver Tim Hicks, transport manager Shirley Paterson and Trinity Centre trustee Rodney Natriss and some users of the Trinity Centre

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A COMMUNITY bus and lifeline for elderly people was almost at the end of the road but has been saved thanks to generous donations.

In January the Gazette reported that the Trinity Day Centre bus needed at least £5000 to cover the costs of fuel, insurance and maintenance or it would have to be taken off the road.

The trustees and staff at the centre had a month to find the money and were starting the process of stopping the bus when Lord Normanby donated £10,000 at the eleventh hour.

With just days to spare transport manager Shirley Paterson got an email on Thursday 24 February to say the money was in place.

A further £11,000 has been donated from three people that use the centre and various other local groups and organisations securing the future of the bus for at least two more years.

Mrs Paterson said: “It was about two weeks after it went in the paper, there was a phone call from Lord Normanby asking for the details. He had read the article in the Gazette and would call an emergency meeting of the Normanby Trustees which he did.

“I got an email back on Thursday 24 February and we had until the Monday to resolve it - if the money was there we carried on and if we didn’t it was closed - so it was definitely the eleventh hour.

“Ask Lord Normanby what the conversation was like. I think he thought I was a mad woman. It is a huge amount of money and I did not expect our own clients to donate anything like that - it shows how important they think it is.”

The bus picks up users of the Trinity Centre on Flowergate from their homes and drops them back off at the door at the end of the day.

Without the service a lot of the elderly - who live in Sleights, East Barnby, Staithes, Glaisdale and Robin Hood’s Bay wouldn’t be able to get to the centre.

Barbara Astin said: “We were delighted, absolutely over the moon. We could not have done with a row of taxis up here.”

Jean Whitehead added: “We are very grateful to those that have given money.”