The Woodchurch Wagon
Community groups in Woodchurch will soon be able to utilise the ‘Woodchurch Wagon’, a 16-seater minibus; the second vehicle in a wellbeing initiative created by Ashford Borough Council and named ‘Community Connect’.
Woodchurch parish councillors have been working extremely hard, in partnership with Ashford Borough Council, to arrange the provision of the service. The vehicle was named by children from Woodchurch Primary School, who will also be there to witness its launch by actress and local resident Jan Francis at 10.30am on Sunday 4th August 2019 from the Memorial car park.
The scheme was created because of the need to increase transport options in rural areas and reduce social isolation. Many community groups own and run minibuses or other vehicles. These vehicles may have a limited use and can be expensive to run. The not for profit Community Connect scheme allows community groups to access a vehicle as they require it.
Cllr Jo Gideon, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Wellbeing at Ashford Borough Council, said:
“This scheme is a wonderful way of connecting those in rural communities who may be at risk of social isolation. We know that such isolation and loneliness can have a massive impact on one’s health. I’m thrilled to see this scheme expanding to other rural communities, knowing that it will provide so much more than just a means of transport.”
Nick Jones, Vice Chairman for Woodchurch Parish Council, said: “Woodchurch Parish Council are delighted to have been included in Ashford Borough Councils Community transport and wellbeing imitative pilot.This initiative will support our local clubs/societies and other organisations becoming more mobile and improve resident’s wellbeing.
“Our school has been involved with the children coming up with the name ‘Woodchurch Wagon’ and we have been very encouraged with the support for volunteer drivers already.
“At the same time as the launch of the ‘Woodchurch Wagon’ we are re-launching the Woodchurch Community information centre as the ‘Woodchurch Hub’ The Hub is run completely by volunteers and, as well as managing the day to day operation of the Woodchurch Wagon, it will provide a central support resource and information centre for all of Woodchurch and surrounding villages.
“We would also like to thank Jan Francis for agreeing to launch the ‘Woodchurch Wagon and ‘Woodchurch Hub’ along with the children from Woodchurch Primary School.”
The Community Connect scheme is open to community, voluntary, charitable or non-profit making organisations within the Ashford borough. If you know of any who might be interested, please contact the Community Safety and Wellbeing team at Ashford Borough Council on 01233 331111 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
For more information about Woodchurch visit Woodchurch Community Information.