A BOURNEMOUTH based transport charity is helping to alleviate loneliness caused by the Covid-19 lockdown by providing small getaways for elderly and disabled people.

During the Covid-19 lockdown, older and disabled people living with reduced mobility have found it particularly hard to escape their four walls even for a short walk.

South East Dorset Community Accessible Transport, or Sedcat, is working to break down barriers that prevent people from being trapped at home having seen the impact lockdown is having on members and their mental health.

Sue Leighton sedcat Chief Officer said: “We know that older and disabled people are more vulnerable to loneliness and this has been exacerbated with the Covid-19 lockdown. It is vitally important that people now have safe opportunities to get out and about again and safely socialise with others.”

“In response, we have organised several ‘mini trips’ enabling people who are isolated at home to start to get out and about, visits garden centres, the park and other attractions.”

Sedcat have been running mini trips for small groups within Bournemouth since Wednesday August 12.

Outdoor trips give people with mobility problems a chance to get some fresh air, a snack and take in the sights locally.

The charity’s wheelchair accessible minibuses pick people up from their homes for a small fare which goes towards the running cost of the bus.

Drivers will be dressed in the necessary PPE should they need to assist passengers on and off the bus.

Unfortunately, due to higher operating costs, the charity cannot offer these trips to people outside of Bournemouth.

Still, the charity is always seeking funding to expand its resources so that they can reach more people who need help.

Sedcat had to stop all social transport when the restrictions came into force in March. However, with the help of local funders Dorset Community Foundation and the Talbot Village Trust the charity was able to respond to requests to get people to the hospital and essential medical appointments as well as shopping and delivering to members who were struggling for help.