ELDERLY residents at a Kidderminster retirement living development have been given £8,500 towards a new minibus to be used for trips and social outings.

A group of determined residents at Berrington Court Independent Living Scheme in Felix Baxter Drive successfully raised £17,000 to purchase the vehicle, including £8,500 from the National Lottery Fund, in an effort to combat social isolation among the elderly community.

Resident Ken Gough came up with the idea in 2017 after he became concerned about some of his neighbours who were restricted in their ability to go out into the wider community.

With the backing of other residents, Ken launched a working group in 2018 to raise funds towards the new bus.

The group held raffles, themed suppers and pop-up shops, with goods donated by residents, staff and local businesses, and successfully bid for funding from charities and organisations such as the One Family Foundations, Tesco and Aviva, and most recently the National Lottery Community Fund.

The cheque was presented to residents on May 7 by then Mayor of Kidderminster Martin Stooke.

Ken told The Shuttle: "We have learned a lot about how complicated funding applications can be, but we were so determined to succeed, we just tackled each obstacle as they appeared and never gave up.

"It was hard work but well worth it."

Berrington Court Social Fund is now a formally constituted group, chaired by Ken, and members have now started work to recruit volunteer drivers ready for the arrival of the new minibus.

Anyone interested in volunteering as a driver can contact Sue Houghton by email at martha_athome@yahoo.co.uk.