THE Mobility and Access Group for Handforth is to have a new minibus thanks to a £55,000 grant from the National Lottery.

The group offers free shopping trips to Handforth Dean, Stockport, Matalan and Cheadle, starting from Oakmere Avantage independent extra care facility in Spath Lane, Handforth.

The group currently uses a second-hand 11-seater minibus gifted by Cheshire East Council, and the lottery grant has enabled it to buy a vehicle capable of seating 16 people.

"We are absolutely delighted with the grant," said group chairman Beryl Chapman.

"I would like to say a huge thank you to the lottery, especially Sarah Blackie for all her help.

"We wanted a bigger minibus, and the new one will have 16 seats and a tail-lift under the bus.

"It will make a tremendous difference to the group.

In addition to the shopping trips the group offers 12 trips a year to places including the seaside, Blackpool and Liverpool One, as well as free lunch.

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The lottery grant has paid for the purchase of the minibus and its initial running costs, and a group is interested in the minibus donated by Cheshire East Council.

For more information on the group, and if anyone can offer financial help, please contact Beryl by calling her on 07899 663436.