A DORCHESTER charity is appealing for help to keep a vital service running to connect the town with surrounding villages.

The Dorchester Disabled Club has taken on responsibility for weekly shopping trips from four villages and needs help keep the service running.

It provides trips from Maiden Newton, Puddletown, Broadmayne and Owermoigne, to people who would otherwise face isolation due to the withdrawal of local bus routes.

Irene Calcutt from the Dorchester Disabled Club (DDC) said: “This invaluable service, with its door to door pick-ups, is only made possible by the use of the Dorchester Disabled Club ambulance and their volunteer drivers and escorts who can and do assist passengers with their shopping on return to their homes.”

The DDC is concerned that if the service was to stop it would mean one less option for elderly and disabled people to access the town for shopping.

They took over the service for a probationary period after Age UK was forced to withdraw its involvement.

The DDC receives some financial support from Magna Housing Association but is keen to secure other sponsors and any other support it can.

Irene said: “Although the costs are currently partially subsidised by Magna the DDC will have to generate the remainder of funds.”

The trips are on a four week rota and currently cover Maiden Newton, Puddletown, Broadmayne and Owemoigne but DDC will review the service in line with demand and may include other areas such as Crossways.

n Anyone wishing to offer their support can contact Irene on 01305 263085.