West Leeds: Stolen minibus appeal reaches £20,000

Members and supporters of a west Leeds charity for the elderly have proven they have bundles of festive spirit all year round - by raising £20,000 to help replace a minibus that was stolen last year.

Bramley Elderly Action (BEA), which has been a friend and a lifeline to the area's OAPs for many years, can finally replace its much-needed minibus.

And delighted charity bosses are celebrating a double dose of early New Year cheer - they are expanding BEA's services in 2011.

From January 1, older people living in Swinnow and parts of Stanningley will have access to all the various activities and services provided by the charity.

The minibus was a vital part of the charity's work, making around 500 journeys a month and taking members shopping, to meetings, bingo and other events at the Stanningley Road base.

The charity launched a fundraising campaign a year ago after the original 12-seater minibus with disabled access went missing in September found dumped in a scrapyard with smashed windows and three wheels missing.

Lee Ingham, manager of the charity, said: "We have ordered a new minibus replacing the one that was stolen just over a year ago.

"Our fundraising campaign has gone fantastically well, especially when you think about the period over which we have been fundraising.

"Although the minibus will not be with us for some months we will eventually have a brand new, fully accessible, 16 seater minibus and written down the side will be our new strap line – 'Working in Bramley, Swinnow and parts of Stanningley."

Mr Ingham added: "Bramley Elderly Action is looking forward to meeting some new people in the New year. We provide a broad range of activities and services for local older people and hopefully we will get some new people joining us in the New year. New members will be given a warm welcome."

The charity has community shops in Bramley Shopping Centre and on Stanningley Road.

To find out more or make a cash or item donation, call 0113 2361644 or call in at the drop-in centre at 230a Stanningley Road, Bramley which is open weekday mornings between 10am and midday.

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