A VITAL volunteer transport service, which elderly and vulnerable people rely on to take them to medical appointments, could well fold once the coronavirus restrictions are fully lifted, unless a new generation of volunteers come forward.

Communicare, which has existed since 1981, could face permanent closure, according to the group.

The group, which is officially named Holmes Chapel & Area Christian Communicare, is a large group of volunteers who drive local people to medical appointments in Holmes Chapel and Goostrey, to local hospitals and occasionally further afield when they would be otherwise unable to attend.

In the last full year volunteers carried out more than 1,300 journeys.

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The service is currently suspended, which has given time for the current officers, who have all been in post for many years, to reflect on the future.

They have decided that now is a good opportunity to hand over to a younger generation, who will take this voluntary group forward, with new ideas for the ‘new normal’. But as the service will not be able to restart safely for several months, group secretary Dennis Eborall is hoping there will be plenty of time for a smooth transfer.

Dennis said: “Most of our organisers and drivers are in their 70s, with some in their 80s, and they obviously cannot go on for ever.

"Unless younger volunteers from the next generation come forward, as organisers and drivers, this service, which is so important and relied on by the community of Holmes Chapel and area, will not be able to continue in the future”

For interest or further information, contact the group by email on hccommunicare@gmail.com