9:00am Sunday 17th March 2013
Five volunteers got stuck in a Laverton Hall lift for almost an hour, making them late for Westbury Link’s 15th birthday celebrations.
The five – Barbara Gerrish, John Francis, Olive Francis, Jennifer Yeadon and Davina Adams – were the first to arrive at the venue, but last to reach the party after getting trapped for 45 minutes.
They had not read signs inside the lift, stating the maximum number of people it could carry was four.
Their group of five had exceeded the weight limit and left them stuck in transit.
Town clerk and former retained firefighter Keith Harvey assisted with the rescue, with the lift eventually lowered using a manual switch to take passengers to the bottom floor Mrs Adams, the wife of link chairman John Adams, said: “Everyone was fine and, luckily, nobody was claustrophobic. I’m just glad we were finally able to join the party and see everyone who has been part of the link scheme. It’s almost like an extended family.”
Present and past volunteers attended Westbury and District Link Scheme’s 15th birthday party last Friday.
It has helped hundreds of residents of the town and surrounding villages, particularly elderly people and those without transport, on trips to doctors, hospitals and shops.
Since the opening of the White Horse Medical Centre last September, the service has become even more popular and the Westbury Link is now one of the busiest such schemes in Wiltshire.
Each month, volunteers drive up to 5,000 miles, doing more than 200 tasks, with almost 50 volunteers driving, co-ordinating and being on the committee.
John Adams, the chairman of its management committee, said: “It’s a really worthwhile scheme and we’re one of the best in Wiltshire, which is quite something considering the size of Westbury.
“We have an incredible group of volunteers, with some doing a few hours a week and others doing a few days.
“Not everyone drives, but everyone involved contributes so much.
“Community schemes are under a lot of pressure, but the fact we have been going for 15 years is a testament to everyone who has helped out since the scheme started.”
Westbury’s scheme is one of more than 40 operating in Wiltshire. The link scheme has a constant need for additional volunteers. Anyone interested in getting involved with the Westbury and District Link Scheme can call 01373 859669 for details.
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