Hastings Community Transport has for many years been providing subsidised door-to-door transport for adults in social care and for others too old or disabled, physically or mentally, to cope with public services. In normal times the charity receives a small grant from East Sussex County Council, and relies on volunteer drivers and ‘buddy’ escorts to keep the operation going. (For a fuller account see HIP 139).

PICTURE: Ben Bruges

Ironically much of the primary purpose of the service has been to combat the social isolation of its clientele, providing possibilities of engagement in the community. Suddenly the watchword is self-isolation, avoidance of social groupings. Nevertheless, in these extraordinary days, manager Lorna Hraboweckyi is faced with the unprecedented challenges of engaging sufficient volunteers to ferry the old, needy and vulnerable to hospitals – often at considerable distance – doctors and shops; and of keeping the charity’s three 12-seater vehicles constantly cleaned, maintained and serviced under the constraints of social distancing as well as the stringent rules of its operations licence. New recruits for driving and escorting are urgently required to substitute for others who are themselves vulnerable to sickness. 

Receipt of money donations is also critical to continuation of the service. You can donate when you shop online through easyfunding.org.uk

We hope you have enjoyed reading this article. The future of our volunteer led, non-profit publication would be far more secure with the aid of a small donation. You can also support local journalism by becoming a friend of HIP. It only takes a minute and we would be very grateful.