The Okehampton District and Community Transport Group (ODCTG) was recently the recipient of a generous £15,000 donation from the Freemasons. The funds will be used to maintain the ODCTG’s services in the Okehampton area. The cheque was handed over to ODCTG manager Sue Wonnacott by Nicholas Ball, the head of the Devonshire Freemasons, and his colleague Anthony Eldred, on behalf of the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) and the Devonshire Freemasons.

Ball praised the invaluable work of community services like ODCTG, particularly in rural areas, and expressed his pleasure in being able to support the group with this grant. Wonnacott expressed her gratitude for the donation, noting that it would help the charity continue its work, which has been ongoing for the past 33 years. She highlighted the high costs of maintaining their vehicles, which need servicing every ten weeks and cost over £26,000 annually to upkeep.

The ODCTG, which started in May 1990 with a single bus and a handful of volunteers, now operates two fifteen-seater buses and two wheelchair-accessible buses, with three drivers and around forty volunteer drivers using their own cars. The charity provides accessible transport for healthcare and social journeys, serving an extremely rural area of West Devon spanning 274 square miles. Its services are primarily used by the elderly, frail, disabled, and those living in rural isolation who cannot access public transport and require a door-to-door service.