CROWDS of residents were keen to celebrate the arrival of the new minibus for Dinas Powys Voluntary Concern - the years of fundraising had finally paid off. The custom built minibus is laid out to accommodate people with mobility issues.

Cllr Steve Thomas, chairman of Dinas Powys Community Council officially ‘launched’ the minibus to great applause on Sunday, February 2 at Murchfield Community Centre.

The DPVC, a small charity providing transport and social services, spent more than two years raising money for the minibus.

Chris Franks, a trustee for DPVC, explained the impact: "We can use the new minibus to help drive people to the supermarket, shopping, and to the church every Sunday."

A crowd of more than 70 DPVC trustees, volunteers, clients and supporters were keen to view in detail the new vehicle, despite the chilly weather.

All the funds had been raised locally, along with a generous grant from the community council.

Attendees included Julie Morgan, AM for Cardiff North and minister for Health and Social Services, David Melding AM for South Wales Central, Suzanne Clifton from the Vale Social Services Department, Cllr Steve Thomas and Dr Haydn Jones, a founder member of DPVC.

Mrs Morgan congratulated the community for the huge effort in providing such a vital service. She acknowledged the need to provide transport for a section of society that would otherwise face social isolation.

John Fanshaw, chairman of DPVC said that: “This is a truly memorable day in the long history of Dinas Powys Voluntary Concern. Throughout its long and distinguished existence, community transport to local supermarkets and events has been at the heart of DPVC and the distinctive burgundy minibus/ambulance is regarded with affection by so many residents and is a reminder of the services DPVC can offer. A campaign to replace the minibus, estimated to cost over £55,000 was successfully launched.

“The choice of vehicle and its seating configuration reflects the observations of drivers, escorts and users and the distinctive burgundy of the 'Van Rouge' has been maintained. Drivers and users were delighted with the final product!”