Minibus appeal needs a cash boost

Stonehaven and District Minibus Users’ Group (MUG) is appealing for donations to allow them to replace the ageing bus currently in use.

The 15-seater community minibus has now been serving the community for the past decade and is in need of replacement. In the past year, 33 community groups utilised the vehicle.

The volunteer-led users’ group, made up of community representatives, was formed earlier this year to decide on a suitable replacement bus, a fundraising strategy and the best way to administer the new vehicle, with support and advice provided by Aberdeenshire Council.

The group needs to raise a further £6000 towards the replacement 16-seater bus, which will include an electronic side-step and powered under-floor wheelchair lift.

Groups using the bus range from over-50 walking clubs, mental health groups and churches, to schools and day care centres, in communities as far apart as Gourdon, Laurencekirk, Glenbervie, Newtonhill and Portlethen.

Vice-chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee, Councillor Ron McKail, said: “The minibus clearly provides a lifeline for a wide variety of community groups in towns and villages around Stonehaven.

“The Users’ Group has done a fantastic job fundraising so far, but needs a little extra help to achieve the total amount required.

“I very much hope that local businesses and individuals recognise the enormous worth of such a vehicle to the local community and donate what they can to enable a replacement bus to be purchased.”

Enquiries should be directed to the Stonehaven and District Minibus Users’ Group (MUG), c/o Community Education Centre, Bath Street, Stonehaven, on (01569) 762688, or emailed to ailsa.conkey@aberdeenshire.gov.uk.