Char­ity chair­man awarded an MBE

Project helps or­gan­ise pre­cious day trips

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Pete Bryant pete.bryant@trin­i­tymir­

TWO decades of work ded­i­cated to en­sur­ing peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties can en­joy day trips and hol­i­days with loved ones has earned an Ick­en­ham man an MBE.

Richard Hol­land is chair­man of reg­is­tered char­ity the Barbara Bus Fund, which he joined nearly 20 years ago and has de­voted his spare time to lead­ing and grow­ing ever since.

His award in the Queen’s birth­day hon­ours was for vol­un­tary ser­vice to trans­port ac­ces­si­bil­ity for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties.

The Barbara Bus Fund is a unique ser­vice pro­vid­ing spe­cially adapted ve­hi­cles to in­di­vid­u­als with dis­abil­i­ties; giv­ing them the free­dom to en­joy day trips, or hol­i­days with fam­i­lies, which they would oth­er­wise not be able to do.

Mr Hol­land lives with his wife and two daugh­ters. He was for­merly a gov­er­nor of Glebe Pri­mary School, in Ick­en­ham, and has worked for more than 30 years in the aero­space in­dus­try for a com­pany that pro­vides elec­tronic con­trol sys­tems.

The Barbara Bus Fund was ini­tially started in 1968 by his aunt Barbara Werndly who, af­ter con­tract­ing po­lio, was an in­pa­tient at the Royal Na­tional Or­thopaedic Hos­pi­tal un­til she passed away in 1995.

The char­ity has a fleet of adapted wheel­chair ac­ces­si­ble ve­hi­cles, set up to en­able pas­sen­gers to travel with­out need­ing to trans­fer.

The ve­hi­cles can ac­com­mo­date be­tween one and three wheel­chairs in com­fort along with sev­eral able-bod­ied pas­sen­gers, and are equipped with ap­pro­pri­ate wheel­chair re­straints.

Mr Hol­land said: “It is an honour and sur­prise to have re­ceived this award. I am touched by the ef­forts of oth­ers who must have helped to make this hap­pen.

“This is a great op­por­tu­nity to raise the pro­file of the char­ity, which means so much to me and helps a large num­ber of peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties.”

When Mr Hol­land joined the Barbara Bus Fund, it had four ve­hi­cles but has de­vel­oped it in re­cent years to in­crease to 10 ve­hi­cles based at RNOH Stan­more. It has also ex­panded to op­er­ate three ve­hi­cles in the Gwynedd re­gion of Wales, one at the Na­tional Spinal In­juries Cen­tre at Stoke Man­dev­ille Hos­pi­tal, in Buck­ing­hamshire, and one ve­hi­cle at Pin­der­fields Hos­pi­tal, Wake­field.

Any wheel­chair user who can­not trans­fer them­selves into or­di­nary cars, taxis or public trans­port may use the ve­hi­cles.

Users may go wher­ever they like for up to two weeks if they have their own driver. The driver can be a fam­ily mem­ber, friend or carer of the pas­sen­ger, but must be aged be­tween 25 and 75 and have com­pleted the driver reg­is­tra­tion process.

The char­ity does not charge a set fee for ve­hi­cle use, although fuel must be re­placed and do­na­tions are grate­fully re­ceived to en­able it to of­fer its ser­vices.

Vol­un­teer driv­ers are of­ten avail­able to ac­com­mo­date lo­cal jour­neys if the user can­not pro­vide their own.

For more in­for­ma­tion go to­

n QUEEN’S HONOUR: Richard Hol­land

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