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Driver is mugged in Bridport town centre for charity's cash
CHARITY leaders have appealed for support after a ‘despicable’ robbery in Bridport town centre.
The Axe Valley and West Dorset Ring and Ride Service lost a week of fares when their volunteer driver was mugged for £75 in South Street.
Now they have hit out at the robber but also called for help and donations to keep the £52,000 a year service on the road.
Chairman Sandra Ward said: “It’s despicable.
“It was a terrible thing to rough up a driver to steal £75 of hard-earned and very sorely needed money from a charity.
“The money means hell of a lot to us. It costs about £52,000 to run the service and we are already cut back to the bone as it is.
“It’s a dreadful loss to a small charity and a sad reflection on society and Bridport.”
The elderly and people with disabilities – including those with hearing or sight loss – can call the service for transport to go shopping.
Many people who can no longer drive, carry bags or reach the bus stop are helped by the charity from Bere Regis to Bridport and Lyme Regis as well as east Devon.
It has two volunteer drivers who can pick up people and their wheelchairs, walking frames and aids. One of the drivers was put up against a wall in South Street as he made his way to bank about a week’s worth of fares on September 26.
Charity treasurer Stan Williams revealed that it was their driver who was mugged when he attended a grants presentation by Bridport Town Council. The charity received £250 from the council but that was down on its £750 last year. It said it was grateful for the money but still needs more help to keep it on the road.
Mrs Ward said: “We would appreciate any help people can give as we are very small charity.”
Mr Williams said that the charity was not insured to cover such losses by robbery.
He said: “Our drivers are fabulous.
“I was not happy at all and very disappointed when one was mugged.”
The driver was left unhurt but shaken up in the robbery.
Police have stressed that such cases are rare in Bridport and have appealed for witnesses and anyone with information to come forward.
It happened just before 10.30am in South Street near Morrisons.
The robber was described as 6ft tall, of slim build with dark hair and about 22 years old.
He was wearing blue jeans and a dark coat and ran towards South Mill Lane.
Police are still hunting for the mugger.
Weymouth CID Detective Constable Simon Beare is the officer in the case. Call the non-emergency number 101 with information, quoting incident number 124 of September 26.
To help the Ring and Ride or to find out more about how to use its services call 01404 46520 or write to Axe Valley and West Dorset Ring and Ride, Parish Office, St Paul’s Church, Honiton, EX14 1PE.