Thieves steal from charity which helps elderly and disabled people

PUBLISHED: 06:57 20 February 2019

Anne Morley (operations manager) and Dave Rowson (finance officer) with some of their vehicles.      Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Anne Morley (operations manager) and Dave Rowson (finance officer) with some of their vehicles. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

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A charity transport service which provides a lifeline to elderly and disabled people living in North Somerset has been targeted by thieves.

Offenders broke into the base of Nailsea and District Community Transport Service in Southfield Road and stole parts from underneath one of the vehicles.

The charity – which drives hundreds of people to medical appointments, shopping trips and social events – has been forced to cancel some of its services because its largest bus is out of action.

The theft took place overnight on February 11 and repairs to the vehicle are expected to cost around £1,000 which could have been spent reaching more vulnerable people in the community.

Anne Morley, operational manager for the charity, which is based in Coates Industrial Estate, said: “The cost of replacing the parts will run into thousands but the thieves will only make a few hundred pounds from the parts.

“The bus will be out of action for a few days but the real crime is to our society where our elderly, disabled and vulnerable people will be unable to get their essential food from the local shops.

“All staff and volunteers have worked hard, so we could ensure we kept any cancellations to a minimum.”

The charity has seven buses and volunteer drivers transport people to hospital and GP appointments, shopping trips and social events.

It also runs regular day trips to help reduce social isolation.

Ms Morely added: “Some people have been upset because we can’t do anything but cancel some of the services.

“It’s our biggest bus so it’s had quite a big impact on us.

“We are fully aware the bus trip might be the only time someone gets out – it might be that person’s social life for the whole week.

“We absolutely try our best not to cancel, but sometimes it can’t be helped.

“We are looking to put in more security measures such as CCTV and alarm systems which is another additional expense for the charity.”

Police are investigating the theft and anyone with information is asked to call 101.

The charity is hoping to expand its services and is appealing for more volunteers.

For more details about the scheme, call 01275 855552 or email office@ndct.co.uk

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