A big community fund-raising effort has brought a new bus for North Berwick Day Centre for older people close to its destination.
The £60,000 target set by campaigners at the start of the year currently stands at £43,000.
The bus, which is adapted for wheelchair use, is a vital service for pensioners who use the St Andrew’s Street facility but the present vehicle was becoming unreliable.
Elma Danks, chairman of the centre’s management committee, explained the new bus would cost around £65,000.
She said: “We had to make the decision that the present bus was requiring more and more repairs. If it breaks down and we haven’t got the bus, there are always members who can’t come to the centre that day because they can’t access a car or a taxi. The bus is really vital to bring them to the centre and take them home.”
She added: “We have had fund-raising support from young and old. We would like to thank everyone who has helped with fund-raising events and donations.”
Mrs Danks explained that young people from theSPACE youth facility and skatepark in the town made a board showing the appeal target. The air cadets held a coffee morning and a donation had been given from the Law Primary School fair. Churches had got behind the initiative and a street party in Stair Park was also held.
Derek Braid, management committee member and volunteer helper, added: “We have held our own events as well, for example, an afternoon tea at a member’s house which raised more than £1000. There has also been a legacy which has helped and Opera East held a concert which raised £1200.”
Mrs Danks added: “One member suggested a beetle drive which turned into a bus drive which we held in the centre, and that made £500.”
Carol Wicker, centre manager, said: “I think people realise the importance of the bus. If we haven’t got a bus there will be a lot of people who will be in their own houses and can’t get out unless an appropriate mode of transport goes to pick them up, with a passenger assistant on the bus.
“The bus is going round North Berwick Monday to Friday, and people see the value of it because we’re a community. It’s also nice to get people out and about, perhaps to go down to the harbour or further afield. Small outings are so meaningful to people.”
Donations can be made at the Skipton Building Society, High Street, North Berwick, via the centre’s website, at the centre itself or local shops.
See Mr Braid’s video at www.eastlothiannews.co.uk