AWARD-WINNING volunteers will celebrate the arrival of a new community minibus next week, and they hope their purchase will continue to support residents in the Wye Valley.

Bourne End-based Wye Valley Volunteers help transport elderly people in the surrounding areas to the village, including Wooburn, Flackwell Heath and Little Marlow.

The group who received the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service last year have had to raise almost £36,000 for the new vehicle.

Group chairman, Douglas Fergusson, said: “Thanks to the generosity of local and private groups and people, we will be able to get our new minibus.

“We started fundraising last year and had to raise just under £36,000 to be able to purchase it.

“The group needed a new minibus as it helps people in the community get around.

“We drop people off for medical appointments, social events and we do take people shopping.”

He added: “It will be nice to officially celebrate having the minibus and we should also be able to thank all the people who helped raise the money.

“Last year, we achieved the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and that will also be there on Thursday.

“They say it is the equivalent for organisations of an MBE and we were really proud to achieve it, but it was also nice to recognise all of the hard work of our volunteers.”

Members of the volunteer group have also thanked village organisations including the rotary club and the parish council for their help in fundraising.

The new minibus is expected to be delivered to the volunteer group at the start of next week.

In a bid to celebrate the new arrival, representatives, volunteers and donors have been invited to a party at the Bourne End Library on Thursday, September 11 from 6pm until 7.30pm.

During the evening, champagne and canapés will be served and the new minibus will be officially declared in use.