Essex Freemasons fund new mini bus to help carers in south Essex

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A new mini bus, fully equipped to help transport vulnerable people across south Essex to allow them to access vital day care services and to give their carers, many of whom are young children, some much needed rest, has been delivered to a Benfleet based charity with the support of funding from Essex Freemasons.

Carers Choices, set up to improve the quality of care and support for people in Essex through provision of respite solutions, has received £16,000 from the Essex Freemasons Community Fund, which was further match funded by another £16,000 from the MCF, the Freemason own charity, enabling them to buy the bus outright.

It has now joined the fleet of mini buses used every day to bring vulnerable adults and people with learning difficulties to their Centre in Kiln Road, behind the Castle Point Borough Council offices, where they can be looked after by trained professionals.

Paul Ramsden, Chief Executive of Carers Choices, explained: “Our buses are essential tools to transport our clients to and from our centres, which means that we can free up more time for their carers. We also support Young Carers who are children under 18 looking after a relative with a disability, illness, mental health condition, or drug or alcohol problem.

“This might be a parent, grandparent or sibling. They frequently do extra jobs in and around the home such as cooking, cleaning or helping someone get dressed and move around and this is where we can help with training, building confidence and helping to provide these young carers with the skills they need.”

“We were delighted to be able to find the £32,000 needed to fund the new mini bus,” said Paul Tarrant, Provincial Grand Master for Essex Freemasons. “It will clearly make quite a difference across south Essex helping dozens of families.”

“I have also been impressed with the incredible range of work Carers Choices provides for vulnerable adults and children. It is certainly the kind of community charity that our members in Essex like to support.”

Pictured left to right: Paul Ramsden Chief Executive Carers Choices and Paul Tarrant, Provincial Grand Master for Essex Freemasons