The Skipton Step into Action charity has recently added a wheelchair-friendly minibus to its fleet, thanks to a £5,000 grant from the Craven Lodge of the West Riding Masonic Charities. The minibus, named ‘Jean’ in honor of the late Jean McHale, a respected Craven volunteer, will initially be used to transport people to and from health appointments.
The funds for the minibus were raised through member donations, raffles, and fundraising events organized by the Craven Lodge. Phil Smith, Lodge Almoner at Craven Lodge, emphasized the importance of charity in their work as Freemasons and their commitment to supporting local organizations.
Jean McHale, in whose memory the minibus is named, was a member of Craven Voluntary Action and ran Daybreak, a social group that met twice a week at the Broughton Road community center. Skipton Step into Action plans to use the minibus to offer weekly shopping trips and social activities in the Skipton and South Craven community, filling the void left by the closure of Skipton and Craven Action for Disabilities (SCAD) last year.
Skipton Step into Action was established three years ago by Charlotte McKeown and Sarah Wilson during the coronavirus pandemic. The charity, which initially helped people with shopping and prescription pickups during lockdowns, has since grown and recently partnered with the Rotary Club of Skipton Craven. The charity’s volunteers have assisted with Rotary tea parties for the vulnerable, the Great Skipton Santa Fun Run, and the Santa Sleigh collections.
For more information about the services provided by ‘Jean’ or Skipton Step into Action, individuals can call 01756 802 098. Those interested in Freemasonry or in applying for a grant or joining Craven Lodge can email: email@example.com.