"This is the first time that we have been able to purchase a new vehicle, and the specification has been designed to meet the need of our members. James really is going to make a big difference."
Victoria Ashley, Ripon Community Trust chief execu
A purpose-built minibus supplied by Simon Bailes Peugeot is already making a huge difference to a Ripon charity.
The Peugeot Boxer – now christened James – is capable of carrying 12 people, together with two wheelchairs, and is used by Ripon Community Link, a charity supporting adults and young people with learning disabilities to transport service users, known as members, volunteers and staff to a wide range of events and activities across the district.
The charity, based at Saint Wilfred’s Bungalow and Ripon Walled Garden, is a leading provider of innovative day support services for young people and adults with learning difficulties.
The minibus replaces its former vehicle ‘Kermit’ which, after many years’ service, had finally reached the end of the road.
Following a near year-long appeal, the charity contacted Simon Bailes Peugeot, which has dealerships in Northallerton, Guisborough and Stockton, with a set of particular specifications it required for the vehicle.
Ripon Community Link chief executive Victoria Ashley said: “We are extremely grateful to Simon Bailes Peugeot for their expertise.
“This is the first time that we have been able to purchase a new vehicle, and the specification has been designed to meet the need of our members. James really is going to make a big difference.
“We are also indebted to everyone who gave so generously to the appeal – individuals, businesses and organisations alike – and thanks to their generosity and support, we now have this magnificent vehicle.
“Our ability to provide supported transport is key to the provision of our services.”
Simon Bailes said: “We are delighted to have been of assistance to Ripon Community Link in supplying a vehicle that meets their exact requirements.
“I’m sure James will provide many years of reliable and faithful service and will be a real asset in allowing it to extend the scope of its work and broaden the range of opportunities available to users.”
The new minibus was recently unveiled at a special celebration event, attended by Simon Bailes, which was hosted by Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate.