Heathfield and District
Age Concern, Heathfield and District is a local, independently registered charity affiliated to the National organisation rebranded as Age UK. We have a Chairman and Executive Committee who meet regularly to ensure the efficient running of the service, with both our minibus and hospital car services run entirely by volunteers.
You can scroll down the page to read about the services we provide and find out how you can support us, either as a volunteer or by making a donation – or simply click on the list below to go straight to a specific section.
Our minibus service started in 1990 with the aim of taking older residents in and around Heathfield to collect their pensions and do their weekly shopping. We now have three specially modified buses to enable wheelchair access and a team of sixteen volunteer drivers. We have a number of regular weekly bus routes and also receive requests for day trips and outings throughout the year; the service is now run jointly by Elizabeth Keating and Dawn Brock. Over the past twelve months our 3 minibuses covered just over 12,500 miles and carried a total of 4105 passengers.
Our minibus service offers transport to a number of local events such as the very popular lunches held at The Union Church in Heathfield and the Country Lunches at Punnets Town Village Hall. In addition passengers are picked up and transported into Heathfield for weekly shopping trips and to visits to the Holdenhurst Day Centre.
Each of our buses has been specially modified to enable easy access via a tail lift to passengers who have limited mobility or those confined to wheelchairs.
We offer groups, residential homes and clubs who cater for the elderly, the opportunity to book our minibuses for day trips and outings.
Please contact us for availability and prices on 01435 866960.
Medical Car Service
The Medical Car Service has been running for many years, since it became apparent that, in addition to the minibus service, there was also a demand for individual transport to and from medical appointments. This service offers door to door transport for health related appointments to such places as doctor’s surgeries, dentists, opticians and local hospitals. Of an average 100 journeys per month, approximately 43% are local, while the remaining 57% take clients further afield, to a wide variety of medical appointments in hospitals across East and West Sussex and into Kent.
Drivers use their own private cars, and passengers are asked to pay 45p per mile for their return journeys and the drivers can then claim back their expense.
The service is administrated by volunteers who take the daily calls and allocate drivers from our team of volunteers for each job.
If you need transport to a medical appointment, or know of someone else who does, please ring us on 01435 515090
We always welcome volunteers to help with our transport services. If you can spare a few hours of your time there are a number of ways to get involved:
Minibus Drivers: If you are under 75 years old and have a valid driving licence you could volunteer to drive one of our three minibuses. We have a number of regular weekly routes together with requests for day trips and outings and are always keen to recruit reliable volunteers who would be willing to help take groups out. Full training on the use of disability equipment will be given.
Escorts: Our escorts are people who may not wish to drive but who are happy to go out on the minibuses and assist passengers climbing on and off the bus and walking clients to and from their front doors. They may also be asked to assist with passenger safety by fastening seatbelts, helping to operate the tail lift and securing wheelchair passengers on board the buses. Full training will be given.
Medical Car Service Drivers: Volunteers who use their own cars to take people to and from a variety of medical appointments, including visits to local hospitals, doctor’s surgeries, dentists, opticians etc.
We are a ‘not for profit’, charitable organisation and as such rely heavily on fundraising, donations and legacies to enable us to continue providing the excellent and vital service which we provide to our local elderly residents.
If you feel you could help us financially in this way, please contact our Treasurer, David Robinson (Tel: 07747 773439) who will be happy to give you details on ways to make donations.
Our newsletters contain all the information you need about the services we provide and who to contact for each one.
We are grateful to all the local shops and businesses who advertise in our newsletter — the income raised has enabled us to introduce more colour pages and has helped cover the cost of printing the three editions of the newsletter produced each year. Copies can be found in a large variety of public buildings and shops around the town.
Click on the image to open or download a copy of our current newsletter or sign up to receive email copies of future editions.