A Home of Our Own…

PCA Daily News

We’ve had a busy and proactive month here at PCCA, with our exploits reaching many corners of the media. We’ve been on the radio three times in the last couple of weeks and will soon be in the local papers too!

It’s all to do with our new home. A double decker bus which has travelled 425 miles, all the way from Scotland, driven by volunteer Simon Ellis and co- piloted by Oliver Hussick.

What an adventure that was. “It’s not often you get the chance to drive a double decker from Scotland to England so I jumped at it. Fortunately I had the licence to drive it but had never driven anything so tall.

Having to wait for breakdown cover to be initiated we were able to park up overlooking the ferry terminal at Stranraer and enjoyed a stunning sunset from the panoramic top deck” (Simon Ellis)

Since founding this group back in Feb 2020 we have had various homes from which to run our services, all the while looking for a home of our own.

As many know, we are currently operating from the scout hut on Aston Close. As restrictions ease and we encourage more groups to return to the hall we have been searching for a more permanent home for PCCA to deliver our vital services straight to the heart of our community.

Well, we’ve now found our perfect home in the form of a double decker bus. It’s a beautiful vehicle, already equipped with electric points and work stations. We will be adapting it further to suit our own needs, and adding a green initiative in the form of solar panels.

The top deck features a skylight down the length of the bus, and this is where we see our admin team working from.

Downstairs (which has an accessibility ramp), will be fitted out with a kitchen area and storage to help continue our fight against food poverty and food waste in the way of our BURP, Friday Meals, Foodshare, Friendship Cafe and Community market initiatives.

We also plan to continue working together with Wiltshire Libraries through click and collect and to the doorstep. Our jigsaw puzzles (as well as our book loan scheme) are still in great demand. The mental and physical well-being of our community is at our centre and our services reflect that.

We have ideas in the pipeline with our Creative Communities and our Buddy Crew is also still in operation.

We have a temporary park up at Salisbury Reds depot whilst we finish personalising and fitting the bus out, and also whilst we are awaiting decisions from Wiltshire Council and our own Parish Council who we are in discussions with about the where, when and why’s. Now all the elections are over we’re hoping to move forward with this.

We’ve had some good support over the last year or so, with half the funding for our new home coming from Wiltshire Council. The rest was funded by private donations, so we are very grateful that we can continue to serve our community and keep socially connected.

Local businesses have come forward to help us tailor our bus to suit our needs. It’s all been about the community coming together, and the offers of help have been awesome!

If you’d like to get involved or donate, or have any questions about the bus initiative, please call 01672487022 or email together@ourpca.uk