Wheels of St Mary’s is a voluntary taxi service organised by the Pastoral Committee of St Mary’s Church Abberley. The scheme was formed to enable a member of the community of Abberley or Great Witley to reach a destination that would not be possible without car transport. The drivers are not qualified to provide any form of medical support or first aid. All drivers are volunteers from the Abberley and Witley communities. At present there are twenty-two drivers on the volunteer list, but many are busy committed individuals so that we can always do with more volunteers. The original aim of the scheme was to cover only the two villages, but this has been extended to cover inhabitants under the Great Witley Medical Practice in Abberley, Great Witley and Stanford Bridge. The running costs of the vehicle involved are covered by a mileage charge.
The scheme is mainly used for medical destinations, covering journeys to and from medical destinations. Journeys to the Great Witley Surgery, the Martley surgery, or to any local hospital for an out-patient appointment or treatment [eg physiotherapy or radiotherapy], dentist and optician appointments are also included. Trips to visit relatives or friends in hospitals, nursing homes or in their own homes are also included, but the scheme does not cover shopping trips.
All passengers need to be ambulant or semi-ambulent, ie passengers need to be able to walk with the help of one person. The passenger must either not own a car, or, if a car owner, be unable to drive their car to the required destination. The passenger must be unable to use the local bus service if requesting a visit to friends or relatives in hospital. All children under the age of eighteen years must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Wheels of St Mary’s was originally set up by Pat Lakeman, who sadly died in 2010 but she had been the driving force behind the scheme for many years. For anyone wishing to use the service should contact Jan Osborne on 01299-896515.
Jan had previously covered when Pat was away and it is hoped that some kind person will agree to co-ordinate when Jan is away. She already has one standby [thank you Eleanor], but could do with more, just in case they both go away at the same time. The only requirement is that you have an answerphone [you do not need to be a driver]. So, if you feel you would like to help, be you male or female - it matters not - please contact Jan.
Please also contact Jan if you would like to be added to the list of drivers.