Normally, there are two drivers. This speeds up loading and unloading; one driver operates the ramp while the other secures or releases the wheelchair. It also means that one driver can accompany the wheelchair to or from the minibus while the other prepares or stows the ramp. Having two drivers also ensures that, in the event of one becoming unfit to drive, the other can take over. On longer trips, the drivers share the driving.
Our minibus is used for several purposes. It is used to convey people to and from the Monday Meetings. It is also used for transport to the Drop-in Sessions, when requested. In addition, the minibus is available to convey MS members to and from respite care. When members require transport to or from medical appointments they can request the minibus, subject to its availability and that of drivers.
A major addition to the use of the minibus over the past two years has been for organised outings. We organise several outings each year (see the Outings section of this website) and the minibus is used to transport wheelchairs with carers and/or pushers.
Wherever possible, the minibus is used by our collections team to support their activities. It is very useful to have the minibus at collection events because it means that wheelchair members can attend when the event is some distance from their home. It also allows respite from the weather. In addition, the minibus can allow refreshment breaks to be taken in comfort. Finally, the presence of the minibus helps to advertise the MS-Solihull Branch.