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Bus Buddy Scheme Full Steam Ahead for Summer

Published Thursday, 14 May 2015

Elderly residents in Ribble Valley are invited to hop aboard the borough council’s Bus Buddy scheme for a series of summer trips and walks.

And the scheme has proved so popular that volunteer bus buddies are sought to extend it into Longridge and villages.

Bus Buddy encourages older people to use buses, shows them how to get the most out of their NOW card, encourages companionship and overcomes isolation.

The scheme is spearheaded by Ribble Valley Seniors’ Forum member and self-confessed “bus nut” Brian Holden.

Ribble Valley Borough Council partnership officer Dilys Day said: “We developed the Bus Buddy scheme to help older residents get out and about, and meet new people.

“Brian’s enthusiasm for the buses and the wonderful places they can access – all for free – is infectious and Bus Buddy is going from strength to strength since being launched last autumn.

“And the scheme has proved so popular that we are looking for more Bus Buddy leaders to help us extend it into Longridge and villages.”

Bus Buddies meet roughly once a month at the Platform Gallery in Station Road, Clitheroe, for a quick briefing session, before setting off on a day trip. Connections to and from Whalley are scheduled into the programme. 

Upon reaching the destination, participants are free to do as they wish, whether shopping, sightseeing, or walking, before meeting for the return journey.

Forthcoming trips include Bolton Abbey on 21 June, Preston or Southport on 22 July and Kirby Lonsdale on 20 August.

The scheme also organises a series of walks in Yorkshire on the last Sunday of each month. The walks are along quiet lanes and country hills, and warm, waterproof footwear and clothing are required, as well as a packed lunch.

Forthcoming walks include Malham on 31 May, Grassington via Conistone and Bare House on 28 June, Rylstone on 26 July and Grassington via How Gill and Wood Nook on 30 August.

Bus Buddy volunteers will receive appropriate training and further details and timetables are available from Ribble Valley Borough Council on 01200 425111.

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