In April we received a new single wheelchair vehicle. This was made possible from the fundraising of Bevern Friends of £6,000 and an amazing £9000 donation from the Mary Alice Harris Charitable Trust via Nigel and Val Harris ,Trustees.
This meant we could finally retire the old green mini bus, which was costing money to upkeep, repair and was expensive in petrol for single trips.
The single wheelchair vehicle is helping to ensure that we can provide more freedom and opportunity to all of our residents everyday.
We established a family charitable trust named after my late mother, Mary Alice Harris, some years ago. We set up the Trust to be more structured in the way our charitable donations were made in order to hopefully make a real difference to the recipient charities. We support a small number of charities each year on an ongoing basis and recently added Bevern View and The Bevern Trust, particularly as our nephew, James Schueler, is one of your group of lovely residents.Rather than just making a donation for general purposes, we asked if there was something that we could do to make a real difference for both residents and staff at Bevern View. We got the message from everyone that a single wheelchair vehicle would be an important addition which could change the transport provision at BV by improving the utilisation for individual trips out, rather than having to use one of the larger vehicles. It would also assist with costs as one of the older large buses could be sold.Sandra and BV staff told us that there was an ongoing fundraising effort to finance a single wheelchair vehicle, but that it was taking some time to raise sufficient funds. We, the Trustees of the Mary Alice Harris Trust, therefore decided that one of our major donations for this year could be brought forward and made to BV to buy a suitable vehicle, adding to the funds that had already been raised. Sandra and Peter gave us much-needed advice regarding the internal adaptations and dimensions that were required, to assist in the specifications for the adapted car.Our objective was to find a vehicle that was pretty much adaptable to all BV residents specific transport needs, that was also low mileage and well-maintained. We managed to enlist the invaluable assistance of a friend in the motor trade who has better access to finding suitable vehicles. With John’s help we managed to track down the adapted vehicle down in Bristol, which was being sold by Winford Ford dealers on behalf of a client whose husband had sadly passed away. after a couple of calls and a bit of haggling, we managed to establish that this would be the right vehicle for BV. Winford Ford guys were very helpful on the price as they were not seeking to make a profit, just cover their costs. So we were able to secure it at a considerable discount to the normal commercial price for a comparable age and condition car.I had a nice day out on the train to Bristol to pick up the car from Winford and drive it back for a bit of cosmetic work then delivery to BV. Winford Ford and their client were pleased to know that the car has found a good home at BV and was making a real difference for the residents and staff. The bright red car is easy to see and tells everyone that BV is coming!We are delighted to have been able to help BV in this way and all the Trustees, Val, Abi, Kate, David and I send our love and best wishes to you all