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Ace Taxis helped dozens of elderly snow and ice-bound residents over the Christmas period as part of a neighbourly venture launched 16 months ago.
Denise McDowell, who co-owns the company with her husband Steve, said: “It started in September when we began to offer an ACE account to people looking to provide safe and reliable transportation for elderly parents and relatives. The service is proving extremely popular and has attracted one family living as far off as the Orkney Islands who have set up an account for an elderly relative who lives in Brixham.”
Steve said the firm, which runs 10 taxis from its rank in Union Lane, helped up to 50 elderly residents in Brixham, Galmpton and Churston Ferrers this Christmas. Drivers even carried out free regular home checks on vulnerable elderly customers to make sure they were keeping well. He said: “Some of our customers were not able to get out and about in the bad weather and if we hadn’t heard from them for a few days we were able to send a driver round to check they were alright and had everything they needed. There was no charge for this service, we were basically being good neighbours. We take our responsibility for looking after vulnerable adults very seriously.”
The scheme allows people to open an account with the taxi firm for as little as £30, so drivers can provide transport for whoever the account holder wishes, leaving them free from the worry of having to pay for the cab. The account can also be used to collect and deliver grocery shopping and prescriptions.
Steve said: “The service is growing and I think people get more out of it than just a taxi. They choose their driver and are able to build up an empathy and a relationship with that driver. All of our drivers are qualified to NVQ Level 2 in passenger transport and are also on Torbay Council’s framework of preferred drivers.”
To set up an account with ACE Taxis or find out more about the Help for the Elderly scheme phone 01803 882121 or pop into the office on Union Lane, opposite the town centre car park.