Cotswold Friends has announced the addition of a wheelchair accessible vehicle to its Community Transport Service.

The Volkswagen Caddy (named Weston in appreciation of the help from the Weston Anniversary Fund) has been specially adapted to carry a person whilst seated in a wheelchair, meaning that transfer from wheelchair to car and back again is no longer needed.

A wheelchair can be provided if required.  The vehicle can carry three additional passengers and also features an adapted front passenger seat which swivels, allowing people with limited mobility to get in and out more easily.

Julie Mitchell, Community Transport manager, said: “We are really excited about the opportunity to reach wheelchair users in the North Cotswolds who have been unable to access safe, reliable transport and may have become isolated as a result. 

“With our new vehicle, Members no longer need to struggle to transfer from a wheelchair into a car but can be safely transported in their wheelchair, accessing the vehicle via a ramp. 

“We have two drivers operating the new service, both fully trained members of staff.  I am sure that the freedom and independence this service offers will prove a wonderful support to our community.” Margaret Clayton has recently tested out the new vehicle. 

After suffering a stroke last year Margaret is currently a wheelchair user and said: “I have very good friends who will take me out, but I have to transfer from the wheelchair to the seat and then they have to fold the wheelchair up and put it in the boot, all of which is very difficult, whereas with the new vehicle you can just push me straight on to it.

“Three friends can come with me and we can go out for an afternoon.  I will go out much more because it is easy to get into the vehicle and easy to get out, whereas it takes at least 10 minutes for me to transfer. 

“It was very good indeed, very comfortable and you can easily speak to the people in front of you.  It’s splendid altogether – I think it’s a wonderful addition to the facilities that Cotswold Friends’ supply.”

For further information, contact Cotswold Friends Community Transport Service on 01608 651115 or email