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North Hampshire care group closes due to lack of volunteers

Kingsclere, Ashford Hill and Headley Care Group had been going for 40 years

Jonathan Ashby

Jonathan Ashby

jonathan.ashby@newburynews.co.uk

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A NORTH Hampshire care group which has been operating for around 40 years has closed down.

The Kingsclere, Ashford Hill and Headley Care Group (KAHHCG) has announced with regret that it will be ceasing its operations from today (Thursday) with immediate effect.

The decision has been made due to a drop in the number of volunteers coming forward, while coronavirus has prevented many of its current elderly volunteers participating in the same way.

The care group’s primary work now is driving people to health-related appointments and users of the service – which completes more than 150 drives a year on average – will now have to rely upon friends, family or paid transport.

KAHHCG committee chair Maggy Wallace said: “For a long time our main thing has been about running health-related transport, but it’s been very difficult getting new volunteers.

“Most of them are over 70 and the committee is over 70 – we have tried to recruit for quite a long time without success and we’re hoping this will create a shock and encourage more young people to come forward.

“This care group as named is shut – we’ve done all the trying and we’ve come to the end of that process. If a different group comes forward that would be excellent and we’d be happy to advise them in that sense.

“There’s no ill feeling and we’re very sorry that we’ve had to do this, but we feel there’s no realistic alternative.”

The group was set up 40 years ago to do regular lunches, as well as getting houses ready for when people come out of hospital, but a considerable drop in the number of volunteers has reduced the capabilities of the group.

Mrs Wallace continued: “I think it’s extremely sad. We’ve seen it coming for some time and we’ve tried to promote it, but we can’t make people offer. It will be missed.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our drivers who have given such good service over the years and indeed, all those many villagers who have supported the care group in any way in the last 40 or so years.”

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