Community transport works across the Christmas period, even on Christmas day, to provide those who would otherwise be alone with access to family, friendship, company and independence over the holidays and we’re collecting stories of the incredible work that our members do.
Goole and District Community Transport Group, Goole, East Riding of Yorkshire
For the past three years in the run up to Christmas, Goole and District Community Transport Group, also know as the Goole Gofar, have been organising Christmas lunch outings for our members. For many of them, being able to get on a Gofar bus at any time in the year, not just Christmas, may be the only time they have connect with other people.
A lot of our members are socially excluded as they live in rural areas, but we have found even living in Goole itself, there are older people who live alone and don’t have family members close at hand, and don’t have the same contact with their neighbours as they used to have “back in the day.”
So, we decided to try and do something to get people out of their homes and socialise with others who were “in the same boat” even if it was just for a few hours. So, our Community Development chap, Andy Jackson started looking for funding and was quite successful. In the first year we took 48 passengers to a local pub where they enjoyed a Christmas meal and a good old natter with each other, followed by plenty of request asking if we could do it again!
Last year (2015) we took four minibuses (sixty-four passengers) to the Kings Chamber at Thorne. There was Christmas carols aplenty on the way in on the bus and, once there, the staff were amazing: helping some of the less able bodied members take their food to the table and generally making sure everyone was having a good time.
This year we have another four minibuses on the “Christmas lunch run” again going to the Kings Chamber at Thorne and the Red Sails at Hull for more Christmassy food, merriment and no doubt lots of singing on the way! Hopefully bringing a little bit of festive cheer to those who may not see too much of it over the holidays.