The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has once again given its support to a local charity by bringing a much-needed minibus to the Island.

Isle of Man Live at Home Schemes secured a second brand-new minibus thanks to the generosity of the Isle of Man Residential Homes 2009. The Steam Packet Company arranged for the minibus to be transported from Heysham to Douglas at no charge, just as it had with the charity’s first minibus.

The 14-seat minibus is specially fitted with equipment to meet the needs of Live at Home’s members and was supplied by Minibus Options of Macclesfield.

Island Manager Jo Dixon said: ‘We are so incredibly grateful to all those who have helped and supported us securing this second bus.

‘We are absolutely delighted it is here, as having the bus means we can continue to enhance our services and look at expanding and exploring new services to reach more people, particularly those in the more rural communities.

‘I would like to thank the Steam Packet Company for being kind enough to help us once again. The support is truly appreciated.’

Isle of Man Live at Home Schemes, established in 1998, aims to enhance the quality of life of older people and help support them in their independent living through social inclusion. It offers a range of services to the differing needs of scheme members, including one-to-one befriending, social groups, an information service and assisted shopping.

The charity has formed five schemes around the Island, each with a local committee, part-time manager and assistant manager, and a dedicated team of volunteers local to their area responsible for supporting services and befriending in the community. Isle of Man Live at Home Schemes currently supports more than 450 people thanks to the dedication and generosity of its 400 registered volunteers.

Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘This hard-working charity is providing vital services to older people in the Island, allowing them to live independently in their own homes. The provision of a second specially-adapted minibus will allow the charity to enhance and expand that service, and we are pleased to have helped out by bringing the minibus to the Island at no charge.’

Photograph: (from left) Frank Pattison, Trustee of Isle of Man Live at Home Schemes, Isle of Man Live at Home Scheme Volunteer Driver Denis Duggan, Ella Slack of Isle of Man Residential Homes 2009, Anne Duggan, Manager of the Northern Live at Home Scheme, Margo Stott, Chairperson of Isle of Man Residential Homes 2009, Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Marketing & Online Manager Renee Caley and David Gawne MBE, Chairman of Isle of Man Live at Home Schemes