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Bedale Community Minibus Adapts Into Mobile Pharmacy

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Almost everyone in North Yorkshire has adapted in one way or another during the Covid-19 pandemic and the wonderful community support organisations across the county are no exception.

From befriending services to delivering shopping and prescriptions, people in North Yorkshire have pulled together to accommodate the needs of their neighbours.

Bedale Community Minibus is no exception.

The community minibus service has picked up delivering prescriptions to those in the community who are shielding but need to get their medication.

Anthony Wood, a volunteer driver

Under normal circumstances, Bedale Community Minibus team organise trips out for those in the Bedale area.

Malcolm Bloor, a member of the organisation said: “Our small organisation is really unique- we are independent and provide community transport, for which we make a reasonable charge.

“Both of the buses are specially adapted to carry elderly and disabled persons.

“We were originally given a minibus for use in the Bedale area which was used to arrange day trips and take people out.”

He said one of the local pharmacies in Bedale has provided a home delivery service for a number of years but became overwhelmed with requests during Covid-19.

A local volunteer group helped at first, but Bedale Community Minibus were approached by North Yorkshire County Council to see if they could pick up the service.

Malcolm added: “We agreed to provide the service one day per week for 16 weeks.

“We go to the chemist, the driver shows their ID and they get a box of medication and then drive round delivering it to people in the community.

“We make sure someone at the house, either the person themselves or a carer, take the medication from us so it’s delivered and we can report back any problems to the pharmacy.”

Malcolm added they received a grant of £1,000 to start the community pharmacy and he raised £1,000 of their own funds to ensure that all expenses could be met.

They started the deliveries in the middle of November and will continue with them for 16 weeks.

Gary Fielding, Corporate Director for Strategic Resources, said: “It’s incredible to see how community organisations have changed and adapted to meet the needs of their communities.

“Help and support is always there if it’s needed, in a range of different ways.

“I want to thank community organisations like Bedale Community Minibus for their flexibility in serving their community.”

Marie-Ann Jackson, Head of Stronger Communities, said: “This is yet another example of just how resourceful and adaptable our local charities are in the county.

“North Yorkshire is incredibly diverse: different places have differing needs and also differing community assets.

“We know our local groups are best placed to understand what is needed in their communities and this is a great example of how a much loved community service is being put to best use during these unprecedented times to serve its local residents!”

People who need help and support are encouraged to contact family, friends, neighbours or groups they belong to. North Yorkshire residents without those local networks, or anyone concerned about the welfare of someone else, can contact the county council’s customer service centre on 01609 780780. The centre is open seven days a week, 8am to 5.30pm.

For more information about the help available go to www.northyorks.gov.uk/coronavirus.

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