Paul swaps four wheels for two in aid of charity

Paul Jennings with the Buchan Dial-a-Community Bus
Paul Jennings with the Buchan Dial-a-Community Bus

The manager of Timpsons in Peterhead is undertaking an epic cycle to raise funds for Buchan Dial-a-Community Bus.

Paul Jennings is a volunteer driver for the North-East social enterprise which provides community transport in order to reduce social exclusion.

Every year Paul takes on a new cycle challenge, choosing a different charity each time and as he started volunteering for Dial-a-Community Bus in November 2013, it was an easy choice to make this time round.

The service helps community groups access safe and affordable transport as well as helping with the responsive T4U service which is tailored to meet the needs of passengers.

It can be used to take a group of mental health clients for day trips, taking patients to a medical appointment or help socially excluded people, who struggle to interact with others, do their shopping once a week.

Paul worked with a client who needed transport to dialysis over the Christmas period.

Other services include the very popular door-to-door shopping bus, which is often the only way for elderly or disabled clients to reach the services or visit friends and relations in local towns.

This year’s gruelling challenge is the Hadrian’s Cycleway; a hilly 174 miles, coast to coast, across northern England, following the route of the Roman wall.

The cycle starts on Sunday, September 14 and Timpsons will support Paul by giving him a week’s paid leave and covering his expenses during the ride.

Paul said: “Since I started driving the bus last year I have seen the huge difference it makes to people’s lives.

“Many of our clients live in isolated rural areas, and have no way of getting to the doctor or even to the shops.

“Getting picked up from their homes and taken to a nearby town gives them back their independence.”

He added: “Hadrian’s cycleway is going to be one of the toughest routes I have cycled so far. It will take five days to complete, but I’m looking forward to it.”

You can support Paul’s efforts by giving donations at Timpsons on Queen Street, Peterhead, Shopmobility Peterhead or to the Dial-a-Community Bus office.