Gosh, it has been an interesting period! Despite the pandemic, CHAIN continued to support the community in the best ways possible. Some of our drivers were active throughout the pandemic. You will see below they were doing different things. How quickly we forget that during the first lockdown the Handybus was travelling with a signed authorisation to travel.
After all the disruption of the last 18 months, life is getting back to normal for Hungerford’s CHAIN. CHAIN is Hungerford’s voluntary group providing, amongst other things, transport for those who need assistance. In a normal year, CHAIN provides around ‘single passenger journeys’!
A car service is operated for those who may need transport for medical and health appointments. This transport is provided by volunteer drivers using their own cars.
CHAIN also has a vehicle called a ‘Chairman’. This is a vehicle that has been adapted to carry a passenger in a wheelchair. It can also carry up to two accompanying passengers.
The CHAIN office is open every weekday from 09.00 to 11.00 and can be contacted on 01488 683727.
CHAIN’s other vehicle is the 12-seater Handybus. Even through the first lockdown, the bus kept on the move. We used our vehicle to support the West Berkshire Foodbank and that has continued throughout the pandemic. It has completed 110 trips for the Foodbank, carrying at peak times up to over 40 boxes plus carrier bags to local households in the area. Drivers enjoyed the change of role and welcomed the opportunity to help the local community. They also enjoyed the change of scenery but may not have appreciated the search for some addresses and boats!
As restrictions eased after the first lockdown, we were able to reintroduce some limited shopping opportunities. We reduced our support for the Foodbank, and this ends completely on 30 September. From August 2021, the bus has gradually got back to normal services, including:
- A weekly trip to Tesco.
- Two trips to Newbury a month.
- Weekly trips to Swindon Hydrotherapy Pool for those whose clinicians have advised that such therapy is beneficial – this service restarts on 6 October 2021.
- The bus is also used by local groups for transport.
There are currently spaces on our local Tesco trips and our Hydrotherapy Pool trips. For details about these trips, contact Ted Angell, the Handybus Co-ordinator on 01488 682610.
Passengers pay a fare for our car services and are asked to contribute to costs for transport by Handybus.
If you would like to help with this important community work and join our committed team of volunteers, please contact the office on 01488 683727.