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NEWSLETTER No 60 SPRINGTIME - May 2012

Dear Members,

Winter seems to have been very kind to us, and very dry. We lost NO days to snow and ice this time, though we got very close on 2 occasions, but still offered a service to those who wanted to travel.

Meanwhile, following a glorious and very dry March, nature always has a habit of correcting itself, and we seem to have paid for the good spell with the wettest April for 100 years. What are the odds on a very wet summer too? Let us hope not.

DAY TRIPS

We receive a number of requests “when are you doing trips again?” so here’s the current position. A previous newsletter explained the new bus routes we are running for Central Beds Council (71 and 72) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are helping with our funding of dial-a-ride journeys. At the back end of last year we ran many trips on the quieter days, Tuesdays and Thursdays, but guess what? Over the winter months, these 2 days have gradually filled up with other dial-a-ride work, and they are not free for trips anymore. We can’t argue with this as dial-a-ride is the reason we are primarily here, but it has closed the obvious door for trips, for now.

It is therefore important that you call in on 01525 220044 and register your interest in trips and tell us the kind of trip you would like, as we do occasionally find we can put one on at short notice. We then call you up, invite you along, and “Bob’s Your Uncle”.

COFFEE MORNING

You will see the notice on all of our buses, that our next Coffee Morning is on Saturday 12th May at our popular venue in Houghton Regis. Raffle prizes or cakes will all be gratefully received. Entry £2-50 including transport. We are very sorry, but our e-mail and broadband was out of action from April 10th to 27th so we have not been able to send a notice this way. We are now at capacity anyway though.

FRIDAYS

For some reason Fridays (especially the mornings) have now become our busiest period of the week. We have asked some of you to try to be more flexible in terms of times and day of travel. If you are visiting a medical centre, or a therapy or day centre, you obviously have less flexibility so we feel you should have priority. However, shops are open most of the day, every day, so please try and help us by changing your usual pattern. The fact is that we do not have enough seats to take everyone who wants to travel on Fridays, so somebody has to be let down. Next time, it may be you!

TIMEKEEPING

Having said that, we are finding every day difficult now to fit in everybody who wants to travel. Some days are getting really full, so it is even more important we try to stick to the booked times. If we get delayed and start to get late, it is much harder to make the time back up. Please be ready at least 10 minutes before your journey to minimise our pick up times. Thank you.

WEBSITE

Let’s face it, it’s almost like a business does not exist if you have no website these days. So we are currently building a website which should go live within 2 months. This will give viewers more information about what we do and how we do it, and most importantly help families (who often live a long way from here) to find our service for their relatives who live in our area. We will also publish our newsletters and any other items of interest on it. The new website will mean we will have new e-mail addresses, so we will circulate these in due course.

VOLUNTEER AND RELIEF DRIVERS

If you know someone who would like to drive for us, please ask them to get in touch. We do not have the funds to employ extra drivers, so unpaid volunteers could help us, maybe for trips? We would also consider relief drivers to cover emergencies.

HM QUEEN’S DIAMOND JUBILEE

And finally - This will be (yet) another public holiday, so we will be closed on Monday 4th June and Tuesday 5th June.

CONGRATULATIONS

March welcomed the 100th birthday of another of our members. Congratulations to Marjorie Tingey of Dunstable, who reached this incredible milestone. We will hopefully see her again on May 12th.

Compiled by Dave Barratt – Coordinator

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