ELDERLY Winchester residents who are scheduled to get the vaccine can now make the journey without any travel fees.

The fundraising initiative Cabs for Jabs is hoping for £20,000 in donations.

This will allow local taxi drivers to complete 1,000 free rides to and from vaccine hubs, ensuring all vulnerable people in the community can attend their appointments.

Tim Perry, who is spearheading the scheme, said: "We're a group of Winchester friends who are raising funds for old and vulnerable people in our community to provide them a free taxi service to get them to and from the Covid vaccination centre for their Covid vaccination.

"With the help of local Winchester Taxi firms we aim to provide free taxi rides to as many people who need a lift as possible.

"We hope it will take a little bit of the stress out of the day knowing a taxi will already be paid for getting them to and from the vaccination centre safely.

"I've spoken with Andrea Tubby of St Paul's Surgery and Ann Spooner, practice manager at Stockbridge Surgery, and they like this initiative and will start to refer patients being booked in for their jab to cabs for jabs if they need help getting to and from their Covid Vaccination appointment.

"I've also been in contact with Mike Evans, clinical director of Winchester South Primary Care Network, and he's notified his colleagues of the service. We hope all Winchester GP surgery's booking patients for their Covid jab will also refer the service next week.

"We hope people will start using the service ASAP and we can help older and vulnerable members of our community."

So far, £1,506 has been raised.

Mr Perry added: "We’d like to thank those who have donated and would be grateful if you can all share the link and spread the word to others who can donate and support this initiative.

"You can also help by letting your parents, grandparents, great grandparents and anyone else who lives in Winchester and needs a lift know that they can use this service for free to get to the vaccination centre for their Covid vaccination appointment."

To book a taxi call 01962 884343.

To donate to Cabs for Jabs, visit: https://bit.ly/3shtKei.