COMMUNITY-SPIRITED volunteers put in the extra miles and displayed real “Dunkirk spirit” when vandals put the brakes on a vital lifeline for vulnerable people in the Peaks.
The side door of a community minibus operated by Volunteer Centre Buxton & District was smashed while it was parked overnight – forcing the vehicle off the road and out of action for two weeks.
But kind-hearted volunteers, who operate the charity’s transport scheme for the elderly, disabled and people with learning difficulties, stepped in to help, using their own vehicles to ferry people to vital community events, such as a weekly luncheon social for the elderly in New Mills and an after-school club in Glossop for children with learning difficulties.
Alistair Rogerson, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Volunteer Centre Buxton & District, said: “It’s been a bit like Dunkirk spirit. We have been really very lucky with our volunteers who have rallied round and used their own cars in their numbers.
“But this has also put a big strain on our volunteers, especially as a lot of them are elderly themselves.”
The minibus, which is also available for community hire, had been parked on Buxton’s Cattle Market car park, off Market Street, when it was vandalised, sometime between 4pm on Friday January 20 and 11.45am on Saturday January 21.
“It just seems to be wanton vandalism, which is always a shame to see,” added Mr Rogerson. “The charity’s name is plastered all over the vehicle, yet someone, perhaps in a moment of sheer stupidity, has decided to cause this damage and temporarily deprive local people of a valuable community resource.”
Police in Buxton are investigating the vandalism and appealing for witnesses. Anyone with information is asked to call the 101 non-emergency number, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.