New minibus helps get older people out and about after fundraising pleas were answered for Charles Young Centre in South Shields

New mini bus for the Charles Young Centre. Driver Mark Scott (R) recives the keys from chairman Gordon Robertshaw
New mini bus for the Charles Young Centre. Driver Mark Scott (R) recives the keys from chairman Gordon Robertshaw

Drivers supporting South Tyneside’s older generation are now hitting the road with a new set of wheels after a number of fundraising pleas were answered.

Committee members looking after the Charles Young Centre in Talbot Road say they are “delighted” after taking delivery of the latest minibus to join its fleet of vehicles.

The number of people who use the service is expanding and we now have a lot more people who use wheelchairs - so having this new minibus enables us to support a lot more people - many who don’t have any family - who would otherwise be unable to access our luncheon club or take part in outings.

Gordon Robertshaw

The new bus is now on the road helping to transport even more of the borough’s older residents to and from the centre to enable them to enjoy a spot of lunch with friends.

It was made possible following months of writing to various organisations by the committee to seek grant funding.

Of those they contacted, ACT Foundation, Clothworkers Foundation, Bruce Wake Charitable Trust, Bernard Sunley Foundation and the Dora Dixon Trust answered their prayers.

Chairman of the Charles Young Centre, Gordon Robertshaw, said: “It is fantastic we have been able to achieve the funding needed to pay for a new minibus. It has taken months to pull all the money together and a lot of hard work.

“The number of people who use the service is expanding and we now have a lot more people who use wheelchairs - so having this new minibus enables us to support a lot more people - many who don’t have any family - who would otherwise be unable to access our luncheon club or take part in outings.

“This brings our fleet up to three buses and helps us to cope with the growing demand for our services.

“I would like to thank the organisations who have assisted in making this possible through their generous donations.”

The Charles Young Centre once provided shelter for wounded soldiers. It is more than 100-years-old but in recent years has undergone refurbishment to bring it up to date.

As well as providing three-course meals during the week for the older generation, the centre is also a base for a variety of classes and sessions, from line-dancing to table tennis, carpet bowls and sensory explorers.

For details or to book for one of the meals call 454 3241.