During the past 14 years the service has helped hundreds of people in Blaenau Gwent and after receiving funding from the Heads of the Valleys Programme the service is now expanding to cover Caerphilly County Borough Council
The £25,000 grant from the Heads of the Valleys Sustainable Regeneration Fund has enabled the service to purchase a state of the art 13-seater minibus which will help people with limited mobility to enjoy greater independence.
The service, which now has three minibuses, is operated by voluntary drivers who take people to doctor and hospital appointments, visit friends and relatives and also local shops.
Welsh Assembly Government Deputy Minister for Regeneration, Leighton Andrews said:
Through our regeneration plans we are committed to help improve communities across the Heads of the Valleys area. It’s wonderful to see funding going to worthy initiatives such as Dial-a-Ride which is making a positive impact on people’s lives.
It’s the kind of investment by which the Heads of the Valleys Programme is steadily making a positive impact throughout the area, with investment in existing services benefiting local people and communities.
At the launch of the new bus service, Lynn Clubb, assistant director from Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisations (GAVO) which operates the service said:
We are extremely grateful to the Heads of the Valleys Programme for this funding. Having operated for many years, the buses do take some punishment with all of the pick-ups that are carried out.
We are reliant on funding like this to continue operating. Many people across Blaenau Gwent have been reliant on our service for many years and following the arrival of the new bus we hope we can make a difference to people’s lives across Caerphilly County Borough Council.
The Heads of the Valleys initiative is a 15 year regeneration project, led by the Welsh Assembly Government, working to benefit communities in Merthyr Tydfil, Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen, Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taf.
Aimed at stimulating regeneration, economic growth, and environmental improvement, the £140 million programme is making the Heads of the Valleys an increasingly successful and attractive area for people to live and work.
3 December 2008