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Charity van back on road, thanks to BF&M

Kindness crucial: Cindy Swan of Project Action (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

A van used to give free rides to seniors and disabled people is back on the road after an insurance company stepped in, the head of the charity that provides the service said yesterday.Cindy Swan, the chairwoman and co-founder of Project Action, said the organisation’s van and minibus had been out of use since the start of the month because the charity could not afford to insure and licence them.However, she added that after she contacted insurance firm BF&M, the company agreed to cover the costs. Ms Swan said: “Within 15 minutes someone had called me back. “Within an hour, they had donated the funds for the insurance and the licensing so that the van could immediately go back on the road.” Ms Swan said the kindness of BF&M was crucial because she had been “inundated” with calls from people last week who needed help.These included an organisation that required assistance to deliver groceries to seniors and a woman who needed transport to kidney dialysis treatment, which had prompted Ms Swan to contact BF&M. Ms Swan said: “I was very upset.” David Burt, the Premier, announced last week that public bus services would be cancelled until at least April 6 as part of the bid to prevent the spread of the potentially deadly Covid-19 virus. Ms Swan said that the van, which can transport one wheelchair and seat six people, would provide a “vital resource” to seniors in need. She added that the charity’s board aimed to start fundraising as soon as possible to try and get the Project Action minibus back on the road and hire a full-time driver. The charity, founded in 1998, has provided up to 1,200 trips a year. Ms Swan said anyone who needed help should call volunteer driver Pauline DeShields on 292-0445 or 735-1955.