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Car Scheme to be formed

Around 25 people attended Friday’s Community Transport Seminar to hear of the difficulties in getting around and escaping isolation faced by many in our community and many others, and to hear about the excellent ways in which community transport schemes can help people overcome these difficulties. Talks by Rhoda Grant (MSP), Maggie Lawson (Badenoch & Strathspey Community Transport) and Sheila Fletcher of the national Community Transport Association helped build the to and fro of debate.

The audience, which included representatives of Highland Council, Community Councils, Alzheimers Scotland, Lung at Heart, Nairn Community Transport Association, Signpost and ScotSectorLink, concluded that it was worthwhile endeavouring to establish a scheme in Nairn, agreed to form a steering group and Signpost came forward to act as co-ordinator to the group.

The plan is to try and form a small pilot scheme designed to improve take-up of existing services and engage a few volunteer drivers to help their neighbours get around. NAPG will help prepare bids for the funds which will be needed for expenses and to pay a project co-ordinator.

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Transport Seminar

Here’s notification of an important seminar about transport in and around Nairn, Nairnshire, Ardersier, Petty and Croy. Key speakers include Rhoda Grant MSP and Maggie Lawson, MBE, of the Badenoch & Strathspey Transport Company.

poster-for-community-transport-seminar

Getting around the area and social isolation are troublesome issues for a growing number of people, subject to much discussion and review, especially in present times of public spending cuts. There remain a wide range of service providers, from buses and dial-a-bus to Community Transport minibuses and the recent pilot weekly minibus scheme between Ardersier and Nairn. and of course, there’s many taxis operating in the area. There’s evidence that nevertheless these services are under-utilised.

Still, local people have told us that they are not able to get about – to appointments, to shop, to socialise – with sufficient ease to meet their needs. Nairn & Ardersier Patients Group conducted a survey of the local community (not just patients) and from a large response identified around 11% of the population without their own transport (or unable to use it) unable to afford to get to appointments, to meet friends at social events or simply to shop, attend concerts or events and so on.

The solution seems to be a project which tries to maximise the use of existing services (by helping people understand the best way to make use of them and assisting providers in communication their availability) and which also provides facilities which fit between these services. The best proven example across Scotland, and especially in Badenoch & Strathspey, is a community car scheme.

This Seminar seeks to attract direct support from local people interested in helping the unwell, the disabled, the vulnerable and elderly through the simple medium of offering a little time and a lift in their car from time to time. We are delighted to have obtained such a high calibre of speakers.

We are particularly keen to find someone (or more) interested in acting as the co-ordinator for the project, but also committee members, volunteer drivers, people to answer the phone and those handy with admin (and even spreadsheets!). If the event demonstrates sufficient interest we will draft and submit applications for grant funding to meet running costs and to employ a co-ordinator.

We very much hope you will find time to attend this seminar which starts at 10.30 am on Friday 23rd September at Nairn Community & Arts Centre.

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From May’s AGM

A really useful thing to know about is the service offered by our chemists. This is a thing known as the Minor Ailments Service. Our chemists can give advice, prescribe medicines on a whole range of illnesses and even if they are unable to deal with the problem themselves, they can refer you to a doctor. It’s a great service, particularly ‘cos you don’t have to wait ages to get an appointment with your GP…..and of course our local chemists are really friendly and helpful.
Alan and Graham, from Boots and Lloyds, came to our AGM and gave us the full run down on this service. Check out the official details at http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2006/06/26102829/1 or better still, just pop in to the chemists and ask…