Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert joined 40 of Storrington’s minibus volunteers on Friday (February 1) to say thank you for their hard work and time.
The volunteers were celebrating a belated Christmas lunch.
The group has so many volunteers, with many working during the Christmas period, that two lunches had to be organised.
The MP, who is Vice-President of the Storrington Area Minibus Association, attended the second of the lunches, which was held at The Golden Willow Chinese restaurant in Storrington.
The lunch was followed by a presentation and speeches.
Mr Herbert accepted a cheque on behalf of the association from Martin Spurrier the Managing Director of Fowlers Estate Agents, Storrington.
The donation will support the sponsorship of several buses.
The MP praised the work of the Storrington Area Minibus Association and thanked all the volunteers who gave their time to it.
He paid special tribute to Mrs Sylvia Hyams MBE, who was recently recognised in the New Year’s Honours List, and who has been a dedicated volunteer for many years.
He said: “On behalf of the whole community, and especially those who depend on the minibus service, I would like to thank the Association and all of its volunteers for the work you do. You provide an essential service in the village, and I know how much it is valued.”
Mr Herbert added: “In a rural area such as ours, those who do not have a car rely on the service which the minibus provides. I am honoured to be a Vice President of such an important Association, and delighted to be attending your lunch.”
The success of the Association means that they can now extend their services and are not just limited to helping the elderly and infirm with transportation. They also provide transport for local groups such as the scouts, organise special outings, and are happy to help wherever they are needed.
Bill Cutting, vehicle manager of the group, explains: “We understand how difficult it can be getting around in our rural villages. Many people can’t afford private cars, or mums are left at home with young children while dad uses the car to get to work. We are more than happy to provide a cheap and vital transport link where needed.”
The Association now has their sights set on acquiring an all electric vehicle for cleaner, greener transportation.