Christmas lunch and festive fun

Over 50 of bact’s regular passengers came together to enjoy Christmas lunch and festive fun at a special party on Saturday.

Driven to Ilketshall St Andrew village hall by their team of volunteer drivers, bact’s Dial-A-Ride and community car passengers tucked into turkey and all the trimmings as well as soup and Christmas pudding. The three-course meal was cooked by a team comprising bact’s staff, trustees and volunteers.  Bellaires bell ringers entertained the guests with a medley of Christmassy tunes.


Maggie Maynard, 77, and her friend Dinah Dearman, 95, were driven over from Lowestoft by new volunteer, Teresa Wilkes. Maggie said: “We had a great time. It was lovely to meet friends and have a good laugh and the food was really good.”

Following raffle prize draw, passenger Pat Ford gave a vote of thanks to the volunteers at the end of the meal: “Without bact a lot of us wouldn’t go out. It is a lifeline.”

Each passenger paid £15 for the event covering transport and food and a raffle raised £123 for bact which increasingly relies on fundraising and donations.  It is funded by fares, contracts, grants, fundraising and donations.

Phil Mitchell, bact’s chairman said: “I was delighted to see so many of our regular passengers at the party, and all having so much fun. It was a great event and I’d like to say a huge thank you to all the volunteers who made it possible.”

bact relies entirely on volunteers to transport passengers, but bact has a shortage of volunteer drivers in the Waveney and South Norfolk areas and urgently needs more. Volunteers either drive their own cars (for which there is a mileage allowance of 45p per mile) or drive bact’s vehicles, which are adapted to take wheelchairs and carry those needing more assistance.  Some volunteers drive for us every day of the week and others only drive a few hours a month.  The arrangement might be on a regular or irregular basis: bact adapts to suit the volunteers.  bact provides training for all volunteers, who also need to complete a DBS check.

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