Okehampton District Community Transport Group (ODCTG) will receive a brand-new wheelchair-accessible vehicle this summer thanks to a bequest from a long-standing volunteer.
North Tawton volunteer driver Bill Litherland recently passed away leaving the community group thousands of pounds, which it has invested in a new wheelchair-accessible Citroen minivan.
ODCTG coordinator Sue Wonnacott, said: ’Bill is much missed by the staff and many of the clients who remember his kind nature and comfortable car journeys. We hope that he would approve of us purchasing a vehicle in his memory.’
As a great car lover, Bill drove for the ODCTG from May 2006 to June 2012 almost every day until he was well into his eighties.
He was often spotted driving his open-top Saab around town.Sue added that in honour of Bill’s great love of cars, the transport group decided that buying a new and much-needed vehicle with his bequest would be a fitting memorial to him.
The community transport group already owns a Citroen minivan but it is very much in need of replacement.
She said: ‘We thought [a new minivan] seemed like an appropriate way to use the money.
‘We were wanting to replace [the current minivan] for ages but it’s difficult to get hold of these sorts of vehicles so we were lucky, though we will have to wait until the summer for it.’
The only difference between the current van and the new one is the colour, Sue said. The new one will be blue, not red.
During his years as a volunteer driver, Bill become known for his dedication to the service and willingly dedicated his early mornings, late nights and weekends to ensure people arrived for hospital appointments on time.
As he got older, Bill diligently got his driving skills tested in order to continue to provide safe and comfortable driving services to the cause that was very close to his heart.
Even when he retired as a volunteer driver and started to lose some mobility, Bill could still be found supporting the ODCTG at coffee mornings and was often selling the raffle tickets.
Bill had no remaining family and the ODCTG is one of six charities which have received donations from him.
The Okehampton District Community Transport Group is a community-led service that provides transport to those living in isolated places or those unable to use conventional public transport due to age, health or disability.
The group provides clients with a door-to-door service, available to anyone living in the Okehampton area.
For more information visit the ODCTG’s website at www.odctg.co.uk.
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