Thursday, 22 April 2021

Fish bus to restart

THE Fish Volunteer Centre in Sonning Common plans to restart its minibus service next month.

The charity, which recently moved to the old police station in Lea Road, had to stop its bus trips in January due to the third coronavirus lockdown.

Chairman Richard McQuillan said: “We are legally allowed to start again in May and we will start doing a few trips to see how it goes and then build it up from there.

“We have to social distance in the bus, which means only six people including the driver can be on board at once and it’s very difficult to justify the trips.

“We don’t know if clients want to get back on the bus but our feedback is that they are waiting for it to restart.

“Back in the good old days it was like a little community centre and it was very sociable even though it was a shopping trip.”

The charity has seen an increase in volunteer driver trips. It had 131 bookings in February compared with 90 in the same month last year.

Mr McQuillan said: “There are now some hospital trips and we’re also doing shopping trips — we pick up the shopping and drop it off and we do prescriptions runs as well.

“Initially we lost about half of our drivers as they had to shield, or they were over 70 and were a bit worried but a lot have stayed on with us — we have enough to keep going. We picked up a smaller number of new drivers as well, which is nice.”

For more information, call Fish on 0118 972 3986 or email office@fishvolunteercentre.org.uk

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