Did you see your local MP or the Prime Minister travelling around Wokingham or Bracknell on a Keep Mobile bus?

Local charity Keep Mobile celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year and what a year they have had so far, with more to come!

Keep Mobile was set up in 1992 by its current Chairman and local resident Fred Rule. As a volunteer driver for the Sandhurst and Crowthorne Stoke Club, Fred Rule borrowed a bus from his company and took the members out on day excursions over the summer when the club was closed. At the end of the summer the members didn’t want the trips to stop so Fred Rule, with Carole Marchant (another volunteer), started a programme of trips every Saturday. Soon after Keep Mobile was formed.

Keep Mobile is a voluntary organisation providing transport for elderly and/or disabled people. Their mission remains the same as it was back in 1992, to help those in the Wokingham and Bracknell Forest Boroughs unable to use mainstream transport (due to their disability and/or age) to reach their destination, wherever that may be, and lead as much of an independent life as is possible, in respect of transport. Keep Mobile now have an impressive fleet of fully accessible buses providing transport to hundreds of residents throughout the Boroughs, seven days a week.

In its special anniversary year, the Charity has been chosen by both Wokingham’s Town Mayor, Peter Lucey and Bracknell’s Town Mayor, Clive Harrison, as The Mayor’s Charity of the Year which will only help to raise the Charity’s profile in the local community, although who doesn’t see a Keep Mobile bus around?

But the big question is… did you see the Prime Minster in one of the buses in October or one of our local MP’s namely John Redwood or Philip Lee on the bus?

On 6th October, the Prime Minister, Theresa May, took time out of her very busy schedule to visit Keep Mobile’s Head Quarters in Evendons Lane, Wokingham. She was greeted by Chairman Fred Rule and Manager Sally Gibson. The Prime Minster was keen to learn more about this wonderful charity and Fred Rule spoke to her about a number of issues including the problems currently facing community transport namely the lack of funding and volunteers and the more serious and recent threat of the end of community transport due to European Laws.

After a very helpful discussion, the Prime Minister went for a ride around Wokingham on a Keep Mobile bus! Fred Rule said “It was a great honour to welcome and meet the Prime Minister. She was interested to learn more about what we do and the problems we are facing.”

Theresa May at Keep MobileTheresa May, MP, said:

It was great to meet Fred and Sally and learn about the fantastic work of Keep Mobile. By helping so many people to live as independent a life as possible, their volunteers make a real difference to people’s lives and a vital contribution to the local community. I’d like to congratulate them on their 25 year anniversary and I hope they will enjoy many more years to come.

Fred is now an active member of the lobby group Mobility Matters and will do all he can to ensure community transport remains. When one of Fred’s daughters recently posted on local Facebook Group, Wokingham Gossip Girls, a link to the petition they were all overwhelmed with the response. The post received over 100 comments and over 30 shares! It is not too late to sign the petition supporting community transport, visit the Keep Mobile Facebook page.

One local resident, Victoria Edmunds Byrne wrote on the link

Your dad has done an amazing job with Keep Mobile. We as a family are grateful for all the happy trips my mum had with them to various day centres and to her local stroke club meet ups/Christmas parties etc. We would have been lost without them and my mum would have missed out on vital social interaction, classes and day trips, not to mention making new friends! We used Keep Mobile over several years and wish him and his team all the very best.

After the successful meeting with the Prime Minster, on 20th October, the team were pleased to welcome Wokingham’s MP John Redwood and on 27th, it was the turn of Bracknell MP Dr Phillip Lee. Both John Redwood and Dr Phillip Lee followed in the footsteps of the Prime Minster, were interested to learn more about the charity, and were thrilled to have trip on one of the buses!

Dr Phillip Lee on the bus

I know that this is a vital facility for many people across the constituency, who are either not able to afford taxis or cannot reach local bus services. Fred and his team, both now and over the years, deserve the greatest praise for what they have achieved. I hope that this is just the start and that Keep Mobile will go on for at least another 25 years.
- Dr Phillip Lee

John Redwood at Keep Mobile

I would like to thank all the volunteers and donors for the work they do. They ensure elderly and others in need of help can get to surgery appointments, to the hospital, to Day Centres and to the shops. They provide an excellent and much valued service in my constituency.
- John Redwood

Having made sure the future of Keep Mobile and community transport is in the forefront of the minds of our local MP’s, the team are now preparing to continue with their anniversary celebrations and more fund raising activities.

And as the festive season approaches, Keep Mobile will have a stall at some of the Christmas Fayres in the area so do pop along and have a go on their popular lucky dip or have a selfie with a Snowman! Make sure you take a look at the many books, DVD’s and other items they have on offer.

Although the charity continues to go from strength to strength they are always looking for drivers, both volunteers or paid, administration and fundraising volunteers and for new members to join their Management Committee who can dedicate some time and expertise on a regular basis.

 

Newsletter

The Winter 2016 Newsletter from Keep Mobile is out now. Inside you will find all the latest news and reports from Keep Mobile as well as the usual jokes, puzzles and helpful information.

If you haven't got your copy yet, you can download and read it here

 

video coverWe are very pleased to announce the launch of our new video which gives an insight into what we do. The film was made for free, by local production company

Patten Ash Productions

They also did the production at no cost.  We are selling the film at £5 to cover the cost of the DVD and it’s case.

KEEP MOBILE is a voluntary organisation that provides transport for elderly and disabled people. Registered as a Charity in 1993, we are run by a Management Committee made up of wheelchair users, other disabled people, carers and those with many years experience in providing transport.  All of our committee are unpaid volunteers.
Our mission is to help those in the Wokingham Borough and Bracknell Forest Borough areas unable to use ordinary transport to reach their destination, wherever that may be, using a fleet of accessible mini-buses, all of which have modified seating arrangements to suit varying needs.

The cost of the film is £5.

All proceeds to Keep Mobile

The annual Keep Mobile Great Balloon Race will be held on 1st April. Take part and buy your balloon by calling us on 0345 544 0850 Option 1. Help us beat last year's grand total of £355!

Balloons2016 2