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Sprint bus taking residents for vaccinations

Main image: Pensioner Evelyn Cooke was the first Sprint passenger to receive her COVID-19 vaccination this week at Stockwood Medical Centre.

The Sprint Community Transport service which provides a lifeline for older Knowle West residents is continuing its service during lockdown – with transport for doctor’s appointments and vaccinations.

With two drivers currently self-isolating, The Sprint is not running its usual shopping trips around South Bristol – as it is unable to get insurance to cover volunteer drivers for this.

But older people from the Knowle West area have been able to travel to local surgeries to have their vaccinations against COVID-19 this week.

The first to get her vaccination using the community transport service was pensioner Evelyn Cooke, who was taken to Stockwood Medical Centre on Thursday (7 January). Sprint staff reported she was “very nervous but came out fine.”

The Sprint has also been taking vulnerable residents to doctor’s appointments and to pick up prescriptions as well as carrying out free food drop-offs from Aldi on Wednesdays.

In a statement the Inns Court Community & Family Centre, which runs the service, said: “The third national lockdown for England, in the fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, came into force on 5th January 2021.

“The Sprint community transport service, operated by The Inns Court Family and Community Centre, will continue to provide an essential service to vulnerable people during this time.

“Where practicable, we will provide travel services to receive vaccinations, doctor’s appointments and prescription collection between the hours of 9.30am to 2.30pm, Monday to Friday; within our existing catchment area.

“We will continue to observe social distancing and all other Government guidelines.”

The service which stopped during the first lockdown re-started in July last year – once new Covid secure safety measures had been put in place.

The fleet of three buses and a people carrier has been operating in the local community for almost 20 years. 

Left to right: Lisa Gilbert with drivers Angela Perrett and Geoff Jordan when the service re-started in July last year. Picture courtesy of Bristol Live.

People wanting to use The Sprint Community Transport Service can call 0743 277 6810 during office working hours, 9.30- 2.30pm, as staff are now working from home.