Woodchurch Wagon Launch

Published : 06/08/2019

Article courtesy of Cllr Nick Jones, Vice Chairman Woodchurch Parish Council...

Sunday the 4th of August saw the launch of the Woodchurch Wagon at the Memorial Hall car park in Woodchurch.

Woodchurch Wagon

Over 100 residents of Woodchurch attended the launch of the Wagon and the re–launch of the Woodchurch Hub (previously the Information Centre)

The Woodchurch Wagon was launched by actor and local resident Jan Francis with the help of the local school children who helped name the minibus.

Woodchurch Wagon

Present at the launch were the Mayor of Ashford (Cllr Mrs Jenny Webb), Cllr Jo Gideon, Kent County Councillor (Mike Angel) Alison Oates (Ashford Borough Council) Vice Chairman of Woodchurch Parish Council (Nick Jones) Woodchurch Parish councillors (Wade Nash and Peter Wood)

Woodchurch Wagon

Cllr Jones was delighted with the launch and the support from local residents. We have already had a number of bookings and have over 25 volunteer drivers. With the re – launch of the HUB, opening hours have been extended thanks to an increase in number of volunteer hours (Mon – Fri 10am to 4pm)

Woodchurch Wagon

Cllr Jones would like to thank everyone who attended the launch for their support, and a special thank you must go to Jan Francis, The children of Woodchurch School and the Mayor of Ashford.

Jan Francis and Cllr Jenny Webb, Mayor of Ashford

"I was delighted to have been at the launch of the Woodchurch Wagon. A community bus initiative to make places and events more accessible for so many groups. 

"It is rewarding to see what can be achieved when both Borough and Parish Councils working together but let us not forget the many residents of Woodchurch, the volunteer drivers, and the school children who decided on the name. 

"It is a real positive working relationship and a fantastic result for the community as a whole.

"Well done!"

Cllr Jenny Webb, Mayor of Ashford

Everyone was then invited to the memorial hall for free tea, coffee and cake that was provided by the memorial hall committee and other local residents.

Cllr Jo Gideon

“It was brilliant seeing community spirit in action at the launch of the Woodchurch Wagon this morning (Sunday morning). Crowds turned out to witness the event, see the relaunch of the Woodchurch Hub and enjoy tea and cakes in the hall.

"From the Woodchurch Primary School children who helped come up with the name for the 16 seater minibus, to residents with mobility challenges who tried out the tailgate access onto the vehicle, I sensed that this will be a well used and greatly valued community resource.

"The Woodchurch Wagon is the second minibus in Ashford Borough Council’s 'Community Connect' initiative to help tackle social isolation by improving the transport options of rural communities, and it will join the Rolvenden Rocket, available for local voluntary community groups to hire.

"I am delighted to champion this initiative at Ashford Borough Council and it was great to see all the hard work of those involved come to fruition.”

Cllr Jo Gideon, Member for Park Farm North and Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Wellbeing, Ashford Borough Council

Woodchurch Wagon launch

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 parkingcustomercare@ashford.gov.uk for further information.

For more information about Woodchurch visit Woodchurch Hub