Waverley hoppa Community Transport has recently resumed some of its dial a ride service and estimates that it will need 20,000 pairs of gloves, 20,000 face masks, 5,000 aprons and 1,500 bottles of hand sanitiser to maintain a safe and responsible service over the next year.
The unplanned for expense of PPE runs into thousands of pounds and like many other charities, hoppa has had to look to grant-giving organisations for support. The Community Foundation for Surrey has recently awarded hoppa a £5,000 grant from its Coronavirus Response Fund, which has enabled the community transport charity to buy a three-month supply of essential PPE.
Steve Forward, general manager at hoppa says: “We are extremely grateful to everybody who has donated money to the Surrey Coronavirus Response Fund as the grant we received certainly helped make it possible to restart our dial a ride service.
“To enable a safe social distance to be maintained, we have limited the number of people who can travel at any one time to five, and mask/face coverings are mandatory for all – we can provide passengers with a mask and hand sanitiser if they need it. We have also agreed with the major supermarkets that hoppa passengers can be dropped off at the front door and will not need to queue to enter the store. All other aspects of the service such as the booking process, the friendly staff, the meeting and greeting of passengers by the driver and help with carrying shopping have not changed.”
Hoppa has recently contacted all its regular dial a ride customers in Godalming, Farnham and Haslemere and around 35% have indicated they are ready to travel. It is expected that this number will increase over the coming weeks as people start to attend routine medical appointments and claim back their independence. The dial a ride service in Cranleigh will resume once Rowley’s Day Centre reopens as this is a major source of demand for the service.
For more information about hoppa and its services, visit www.hoppa.org.uk or call the customer services team on 01428 681701 between 8am and 4pm, Monday to Friday.