Vital rural bus service in need of volunteers


TWO ladies from Northumberland are working hard to keep a vital rural transport scheme going across the county.

Christine Chute and Anne Snowball run the Age UK Northumberland Rural Access scheme, that ensures older people living in remote areas of the county can access transport to get out and about.

Every week the ladies use a bus from NEED, which is driven by a volunteer driver, to ensure that a lifeline to the outside world is offered to those in need throughout Northumberland.

The two ladies help plan day trips and visits to places around the region.

The next couple of trips include a lunch at Age UK Northumberland’s headquarters The Round House in Ashington, followed by a trip to Asda.

The week after, a trip to Blyth seafront for fish and chips is already fully booked.

Christine, 65, from Wooler, said: “Elsewhere in the country, and even close to home, lots of these necessary schemes are having to cease running due to lack of funds.

“We have so many service users in wheelchairs who live in remote homes, and lots of older people who rely on us to break the monotony of their four walls each week.

“We have some fantastic volunteers and could not run the project without them, but more volunteers are needed so that we can take more people out.

“We also need more funds donating so we can facilitate more trips, as they are always so popular they are often booked up very quickly.”

Anyone who wants to help with the volunteer run service can call 0845 140 0088 for further information.