A fundraising campaign to ensure a “kind and friendly” Moray pensioner can still get out and about in the pandemic has raised £4,860 in the space of just two weeks.
Maurice Dey, 73 who lives in Archiestown, is supported by the charity Inspire in all aspects of his life.
However due to a change in company policy, staff are no longer permitted to use their own cars to drive Maurice about.
Meanwhile the struggles of very limited public transport in the village has left the pensioner feeling isolated due to missing out on the joys of visits to see his family and friends.
So friend Anne Speake decided to come to his aid by spearheading a fundraising page in a bid to raise £5,000 to purchase a car to ensure Mr Dey would still be able to meet family and friends.
She said that the car is “more important than ever” as Maurice recovers from a operation at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
Mrs Speake added: “He is currently in hospital on the mend from an operation and the generous of people has been a big boost to him.
“He can’t get out because there is one bus a day out of the village so he haven’t had the freedom to enjoy meeting up with friends for lunches and different entertainment.
“A car would be brilliant especially as staff would be able to take him out and about where he wants to.
“While visiting his sister in Buckie would mean Maurice having to use the dial-a-bus to take him to Rothes, then getting another bus to Elgin then yet another bus to Buckie.
“It’s a journey of about two and a half hours each way which, given Maurice’s health conditions and age, he wouldn’t manage.
“While a taxi would cost over £100 each time he wants to go to Elgin.”
She hailed the droves of donations made by “generous” people across the country.
The purchase of a vehicle would mean that he would be able to attend the Greyfriars Club, Inspiring Darts Club and monthly discos around Moray where he can socialise and meet up with friends.
She added: “People with learning disabilities are much more at risk of loneliness and isolation, leading to mental health issues.
“He always has a smile on his face and people who meet Maurice know he is unforgettable and can’t help but love him.
“We’d love people to give what they can or spread the word.
“We would like to raise more as firstly wanted to get a second hand car however it would be nice to get a new yellow one.
“I’m really chuffed at the people generosity and giving which is unbelievable and people are donating from across the country not just Moray which is remarkable.
“Maurice needs to have a car of his own so his staff team can drive him to his social events and stop him becoming socially isolated from all that he loves.”
To donate, people can visit the ‘Help Maurice Avoid Social Isolation’ go fund me page.