Ticket to ride: Lottery funding ensures free trips for veterans

Glasgow-based Fares 4 Free receives £70,000 towards providing journeys for veterans and their families.

Ticket to ride: Lottery funding ensures free trips for veterans
David Martin benefits from the Fares 4 Free service.

A Glasgow-based charity that helps veterans access vital lifeline services has been awarded £70000 in lottery funding.

Fares 4 Free works with a network of local taxi firms and volunteer drivers to provide thousands of free journeys for veterans and their families.

The charity says the funding ensures it can continue its vital work to help veterans.

David Martin, from Barrhead in East Renfrewshire, is among those who benefit from the free journeys.

Martin, 37, said: “I left the Army with a brain injury and I totally understand just how important charities like Fares 4 Free are to people like me as they have helped give me my freedom and independence back.

“Over the past four years they have given me so much support; taking me to medical appointments and even as far The Help for Heroes Recovery Centre in NorthYorkshire so I could re-connect with friends and colleagues from the Armed Forces Family.  

David Gibson, the founder of Fares 4 Free, said lottery funding has been instrumental in getting the charity up and running.

He said: “It means so much to receive this support from The National Lottery Community Fund.

“Today’s funding provides us with security for the next two to three years and helps sustain our Scotland wide community transport service, providing support to hundreds of veterans who need our help.”

David Gibson, founder of Fares 4 Free

“They were the very first funder to support us back in 2016, back then the £8000 award not only helped us prove our concept worked but it really was instrumental in getting us up and running. 

“Four years on our service is evolving. Today’s funding provides us with security for the next two to three years and helps sustain our Scotland wide community transport service, providing support to hundreds of veterans who need our help.”

Other Scottish beneficiaries of lottery funding include Tay Valley Timebank, who will use their award of £59,430 to run a community transport project connecting people living across Highland Perthshire. 

Over the next three years they will work with over 2500 people offering them a range of transport options using volunteer drivers, bike rental scheme and a lift share scheme. 

Kate Still, The National Lottery Community Fund’s Scotland chair, said: “These awards, made possible by National Lottery players, are making an amazing contribution to the nation-wide response to combat the impact of Covid-19 on local communities across Scotland.  

“I am delighted that some of this funding will provide a range of community transport options which will help thousands of people across the country retain their independence, be able to be an active part of their communities and help them access vital public services.”