A local charity in Peterhead has received a generous donation of £27,573 from the Asda Foundation, which will see the charity purchase a brand new bus.

Buchan Dial-a-Community Bus (DACB) is a growing social enterprise in North East Aberdeenshire, focussing on reducing social exclusion through the provision of high quality community transport and support services.

Originally operated as a weekly service using a borrowed social work minibus driven by off-duty police officers in the 1990’s, DACB has since evolved into a major transport provider in the Buchan area.

The application to the Asda Foundation by Dial a Community Bus was supported by store colleagues at the Asda store at Longside Road in Peterhead.

The donation will see the enterprise purchase a brand new bus which will be available to all areas of Buchan and the surrounding community. The bus will join the rest of the charity’s fleet offering affordable and accessible transport services; providing safe, reliable transport for elderly residents in sheltered housing, such as Crossroads so they can get out and about in the local community.

In addition, the bus will act as a back-up vehicle for the group’s shopping service which enables groups of elderly, disabled and excluded people from rural areas to get to Asda and other supermarkets with ease. The bus will also be added to the group’s T4U on-demand responsive service which transports clients to health centre, job interviews, schools and other important emergency and routine appointments.

Grant Mchardy, store manager at Asda Peterhead, said, “We are very proud to have helped Dial-a-Community Bus secure this grant from the Foundation and to continue working together to better our communities across Aberdeenshire. The work that they do for older people in the city is of huge benefit and an inspiration to our Asda colleagues.”

Rachel Milne, manager of Dial a Community Bus, said: “A new bus will mean we can provide our clients even more access to services and opportunities otherwise denied to them through age, frailty or exclusion. It enables the most vulnerable within our community a newfound feeling of independence and vastly improves their quality of life. That's Dial-a-Community Bus’s overall ambition and we are incredibly grateful to Asda for helping us to achieve that.”

Julie Ward, Asda Foundation manager, said: “We see the Foundation as one of the many ways to give something back to the communities that support us. That’s why we lend a hand to the wide range of good causes with which our colleagues are involved, sharing their passion and helping to make a difference through a variety of projects across the UK.

“Supporting smaller, local applications such as Dial a Community Bus is really important to us – and we hope it will make a real difference within the local community across the North East of Scotland and beyond.”

To find out more about the Asda Foundation, or eligibility for submitting a funding application, please contact the Community Champion at your local Asda store, or go to: http://charities.asda.com/asda-foundation/