The Royal Naval association approached us about creating a small fleet of minibuses for their services. The Royal Naval Association are an organisation consisting of current and former naval service personnel, relatives and supporters of the UK Royal Navy. They provide a service to allow naval personnel to catch-up, they hold regular events and fundraising activities, provide advice on welfare and employment matters and offer general support to its members. Earlier this month the association presented the minibuses to three naval personnel.
Wheelchair accessible minibuses
We met Captain Paul Quinn to guide them over the first new minibus and make sure they were happy with their design. The minibuses were designed on a Peugeot Boxer 335 with 8 passenger seats plus the driver. In the rear there are 6 removable seats trimmed in blue leather on removable legs to accommodate 3 wheelchair passengers. The vehicle features tinted windows and a side loading door with manual step entry. A Ricon split platform lift is fitted in the rear to allow access for wheelchair passengers. The rear saloon is fitted with speakers, blue LED lighting, air conditioning and luggage racks at the top, the interior was trimmed in pacific and dark blue to compliment the RNA branding. The cab area featured a sat nav, air-con and twin passengers seats all of which were re-trimmed to match the rear saloon.
Blessing and Parade at The Cenotaph
The minibuses were funded by the LIBOR Fund, the LIBOR fund uses money collected from fines to support armed forces and emergency service charities. Funding supports projects that benefit people from:
- Serving members of the Armed Forces
- Family members of those serving in the Armed Forces
- Veterans of the Armed Forces
- Serving Emergency Services personnel
- Family members of Emergency Services personnel
- Former and retired Emergency Services personnel
The Royal Naval Association holds the biennial parade every 2 years at Whitehall. This year the parade included 500 naval veterans, a naval volunteer band, 70 sailors in the final stages of their professional training, sea cadets and 60 standards.
The minibuses will be be based in Blackburn, Liskeard and Portsmouth. The buses will be used to assist socially isolated veterans get out and about, including going to the pub!
Each minibus was dedicated to a modern naval hero at the parade, the vehicles were blessed and each vehicle featured the dedicated naval personnel’s name. The three personnel dedicated were:
The late Lt Cdr Ian Molyneux George Medal RN – represented by his widow Mrs Gillian Molyneux
Chief Petty Officer Kate Nesbit – Military Cross (awarded during service in Afghanistan)
Warrant Officer (RSM) Matthew Tomlinson – Conspicuous Gallantry Cross and Military Cross (Iraq and Afghanistan).