As Christmas drew closer, Dorset Community Transport (DCT) found itself busier than ever helping young, old, vulnerable and disabled local residents enjoy pantomimes across the county.
DCT took two buses of young people from Hipp!!Bones, a specialised youth club helping youngsters with special needs in Gillingham, to the Pavilion Theatre in Weymouth to enjoy the pantomime ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’. Proving a popular production, Dorset-based bus service Bus2Go, in partnership with DCT, transported more local residents to enjoy this traditional Christmas entertainment.
Meanwhile, a group of residents from Dale Valley sheltered accommodation in Poole went even further, travelling all the way to the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton with DCT to see Shane Richie play Robin Hood, with Jessie Wallace as Maid Marian.
Anna Whitty, Chief Executive of ECT Charity, DCT’s umbrella organisation, said: “Christmas is often regarded as time for friends and family to gather and celebrate the festive period, however for many, this is not possible and the feeling of loneliness and isolation can be heightened. DCT’s services offer residents, both young and old, the opportunity to join in the festivities that many of us take for granted. We are thrilled to hear that so many people enjoyed the various pantomimes across the county.”
The Christmas fun continued throughout the pantomime season. DCT provided community transport services to Prime Time Kids Club, an activity group for youngsters in Wareham and took them to Bournemouth to see ‘Cinderella’. DCT also helped a group of young carers from Dorchester and Weymouth to see ‘Sleeping Beauty’ in Wimborne, helping to facilitate an afternoon off from their demanding responsibilities.
Tim Christian, DCT’s General Manager said: “With so many additional activities taking place over Christmas, demand for community transport is high. However, DCT relished the opportunity to help members of our community living in some of Dorset’s most isolated rural communities, remain connected with their friends and family, whilst having the chance to enjoy some Christmas pantomime fun.”
Nearly 2,000 wheelchair users and 17,000 other spectators with a range of mobility needs were able to attend this summer’s world athletics events in London, thanks to ECT Charity.