Waitrose donation to hoppa helps fund PPE to keep buses on the road

Hoppa, the local community transport provider and charity, has received a much-needed cash donation of £333 from Waitrose Farnham. The donation will help hoppa fund its personal protective equipment (PPE) needs.

Steve Forward, general manager for hoppa says: “Waitrose Farnham has very generously and thoughtfully continued to support hoppa and other local charities despite the challenges of COVID. Having plenty of the right PPE is absolutely vital to running our buses – for our passengers, drivers and passenger assistants. Without it we could not transport elderly and vulnerable customers around local towns and villages. Our drivers could not help passengers on and off the vehicles or see them safely into their homes. Quite simply, donations like this keep us on the road and keep our customers safe, well and independent.”

Hoppa was one of three good causes to take part in its Community Matters green token scheme during September. Due to COVID-19, Waitrose has paused the use of tokens but kept the scheme running.

“The green token scheme is very popular with our customers and one way we like to support good causes like hoppa,” says Abigail McManus from Farnham Waitrose. “While COVID hygiene restrictions mean we are not using the tokens themselves for now, Waitrose Farnham still wants to help charities and not-for-profit groups – we know Farnham needs its community organisations now more than ever. It’s always a pleasure to hand over a cheque to organisations like hoppa.”

Hoppa estimates its PPE costs are £20,000 per year. Like similar organisations, they were not able to budget for this or the many other ways they have had to adapt this year. Many not-for-profit organisations like hoppa have been hit hard by COVID, with fundraising events unable to take place, changes to service demands, staff and volunteers having to shield, and economic uncertainty.

“We are an independent not-for-profit company and registered charity, relying on the generosity of local residents and business supporters to keep our services affordable to customers. Do get in touch or visit our website if you would like to support our highly valued service,” says Mr Forward.

Hoppa provides low cost transport to people who have no other means of travel. Prior to COVID it provided around 2,000 journeys a month, taking passengers – many of whom are elderly or disabled – to medical appointments, for their weekly grocery shop or social activities.

Steve Forward from hoppa with Abigail McManus from Waitrose.