30 Years of FACTS
FACTS should have been celebrating their 30th year serving the community of Felixstowe and the surrounding villages.
We formed in 1990 to enable those in the community who, for whatever reason, couldn’t get out, providing a transport solution to enable them to attend medical appointments, go shopping, visit friends or attend various clubs and activities.
In those 30 years, FACTS has grown from borrowing one minibus to owning four, each of which can accommodate disabled passengers and their wheelchairs. We have become an invaluable and well-established service provider to the community.
Thirty years is certainly something to be proud of and plans were well underway to celebrate this achievement with the local community, then suddenly the Covid-19 pandemic struck and everything stopped!
The whole country was affected, with almost everything closing down and the over-70s and the vulnerable forced to self-isolate.
We were no longer able to carry out our day-to-day established service. We were still able to take people to hospital appointments but these slowed down to less than one per week.
We didn’t park up our buses though. We contacted the local pharmacies and offered to deliver medication to those who were unable to collect it. Day Lewis Pharmacy on Grove Road immediately took us up on our offer and in three months of lockdown we delivered more than 9,500 items of prescription medicine. We also delivered more than 400 food parcels on behalf of the Basic Life charity.
We didn’t charge for these services and our income was considerably reduced. However, Day Lewis set up a GoFundMe page and the community rallied round with donations, enabling us to keep operating and hopefully enabling us to continue for the foreseeable future.
We are extremely grateful to everybody who donated and confident that support will continue. The people of Felixstowe are very generous and deserve every accolade for enabling this service to continue. To make a donation, contact us direct via the website.
We are also grateful to our team of volunteers who worked tirelessly during this period as without their dedication facts would not exist!
We are still hopeful that going forward we will get to celebrate our proud landmark. Life is gradually getting back to normal and we would love to celebrate with you – the loyal community!
If you think we can assist you, or if you would like to volunteer, please call Dave or Jane on 01394 282857, visit our website www.factsbus.co.uk, or follow us on Facebook.
Submitted by David Ablitt