A COMMUNITY group's new mini bus is set to hit the road and help to tackle rural isolation in the Wrexham Maelor south area.

After successfully crowdfunding to buy a mini bus, staff at The Rainbow Centre in Penley have trained a team of volunteer drivers ready to help them develop a new transport service starting with weekly shopping trips to Stan’s in St Martins.

The provision of a new minibus means that the Rainbow Centre can serve even more people. The mini bus will be available to bring people to services at the centre and will also support people to get out and about in their local area.

Pat Burns one of the community agents for Maelor South said "We are now very keen to get our drivers on the road.

"This service will be an asset for those who may be isolated and residing in rural communities. We hope that this new provision will be well used and our bus is put to good use.”

The first shopping trip included residents from Hanmer, Lightwood Green and Overton on Dee.

Pat Burns travelled with the shoppers on this first trip. He said: "A lot of people have made this happen, special thanks to Councillor Pene Coles from Overton who initiated this shopping trip, Andre Fawlkes of Stan's for his assistance and not forgetting our new volunteer driver Darryn Jones."

He added: "Everyone on the bus was so grateful for this new service. We intend to keep it going and hopefully extend it to other rural locations in and around the Maelor."

Financial support to purchase the mini bus came from local businesses including RB Mechanical Seals, Trotting Mare Garages, R and C Homes Ltd, Knolton Cheese, J and R Millington, MACH Investments, Kronospan, as well as many local Community Councils and community members.

David Bowie of RB Mechanical Seals stated that he was "really happy to support such a valuable local service".

The Rainbow Centre provides day opportunities (day care) as well as community agents providing outreach support to the community. Creative groups running include Lunch and Learns, Knit and Natter, the Pensioners Coop Initiate, a choir ‘the Rainbow Singers’, trips, and exercise classes including Zumba Monday, Pilates and Tai Chi.

If you would like to know more about any of the services or to volunteer contact Pat Burns on 01948 830730 email: patb@rainbowcentrepenley.org.uk or go to the website www.rainbowcentrepenley.org.uk/