A charity minibus providing a vital service to a Leicestershire community during the coronavirus pandemic is back on the road.
Staff at John Storer Charnwood feared they’d no longer be able to deliver food parcels to vulnerable people when one of their vehicles was put out of action by vandals.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Charnwood’s community response has been coordinated by Charnwood Community Action, a partnership between Charnwood Borough Council, John Storer Charnwood, The Bridge East Midlands, Fearon Hall and Gorse Covert Community Centres.
The charity was able to resume the service within days thanks to two companies, and a local businessman, who stepped in to offer support.
Go Plant Fleet Services, based in nearby Castle Donington, donated a replacement vehicle to ensure deliveries could continue almost immediately and Multi Vehicle Technology, of Leicester, repaired the minibus free of charge.
Loughborough entrepreneur Dominic Parr then paid for a full valet of the minibus and additional donations ensured fire extinguishers destroyed in the vandal attack could be replaced.
The charity has now issued a vote of thanks to those who helped ensure the delivery operation could continue.
Candi Barnes, Well Being and Transport Team Leader at John Storer Charnwood, said: “We would very much like to thank those who helped put our minibus back on the road.
“The vehicle is used to collect the weekly food shop for the Charnwood Community Action food bank and deliver around 600 parcels a week to households facing significant hardship during the pandemic.
“To discover that it had been put out of action by vandals was devastating and we feared it would be out of action for several weeks. So we were so massively grateful when these companies stepped forward to offer help.
“The van provided by Go Plant Fleet Services was ideal and meant we could continue the deliveries while the repairs were being carried out.
“The repairs themselves, the valet and the donations have also made such a difference to us and we would like to offer a huge thank you to everyone who helped us.”
Ali Conroy, Marketing Manager of nationwide fleet provider Go Plant Fleet Services, confirmed the company was happy to have been able to help out.
She said: “We saw on TV that the minibus had been vandalised and quickly prepared a van from our hire fleet to ensure their service, which is absolutely crucial to vulnerable members of the community, could continue.”