Likely Lads actors James Bolam and Sue Jameson launch new Horsham 'Travel Buddy' scheme
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It is aimed at residents who may face barriers to accessing public transport that would help them get to appointments, go shopping or attend community events.
The service also aims to help reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness among local people.
The launch took place at Age UK in Horsham and among those there were Marie Claire Mackintosh from Community Transport Sussex, James West of Age UK and Horsham District Council’s community services director Paul Anderson – along with actors James Bolam and his wife Sue Jameson who first worked together on the TV series The Likely Lads.
The couple, who live near Horsham, went on to star in When the Boat Comes In and New Tricks and they are also together in the popular current children’s series Grandpa in my Pocket.
Marie Claire Macintosh said: ‘’We are thrilled to have two of the country’s most loved actors support our travel buddy scheme at our local depot in Horsham where we serve the community week in and week out. We are delighted that so many voluntary groups like Age UK have expressed support for this new initiative along with Horsham District Council. The fact that we’ve already started to receive referrals is an early indication of its value and need.”
Sue Jameson said: “Everybody needs support from time to time,” and James Bolam added: “The scheme is about building meaningful friendships and restoring a feeling of community. Knowing the residents of Horsham, it’s likely to be a huge success.’’
Horsham District Councillor Liz Kitchen said: “Loneliness is unfortunately something that we can all be affected by at some time in our lives. Transport is often a factor which is not considered when implementing new community programmes to help people and can be a real barrier to taking part in activities.”
Andrew West said “Transport is one of the keys to enabling older people to access groups and peer friendships enabling people to feel more confident and have fun.’’
Community Transport Sussex is looking for volunteer drivers. They will receive full training and support and can devote as much time as they are able as it is a flexible service.
For more information contact [email protected]