Club is back on the road thanks to mini-bus help

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The lives of members of a Northamptonshire community club are being transformed thanks to a Kettering businessman.

Mike Smith, who lives in Kettering and is joint managing director of Cambridgeshire-headquartered Fleet Assist, is a volunteer minibus driver for the Nene Valley, Northamptonshire, branch of PHAB, a club for both disabled and able-bodied people.

Mr Smith, who holds an international rally licence and has a lengthy motor sport and fleet industry career behind him, had been leading the fund-raising drive to replace two minibuses at the club.

That included raising £2,500 with colleagues in a European 24-hour kart race at Le Mans in 2015.

However, subsequently Mr Smith heard about the Department for Transport’s Community Transport Minibus Fund, which provides new minibuses for community transport providers across the UK.

An application was successfully made and two new minibuses were delivered as a “Christmas present” to the branch.

Mr Smith said: “The minibuses are a lifeline for members and transport people, many of whom are wheelchair-bound, from their homes to weekly meetings as well as to national events, residential breaks and other activities.”

The Mayor and Mayoress of Wellingborough, Councillor Malcolm Waters and his wife, Veronica, recently visited the Club to meet members and volunteers and inspect the new minibuses.

The Club welcomes new members and is always looking for additional volunteers. Contact Mr Smith via info@fleetassist.co.uk for more.