THE initiative to provide elderly Wintonians with free taxi rides to their vaccination appointments was a huge success.

Tim Perry who spearheaded the scheme confirmed that 600 journeys were completed.

Drivers managed to raise more than £16,000 through a GoFundMe to make it possible.

Mr Perry said: "Cabs for Jabs Winchester started back in January at the beginning of the covid vaccination push.

"Based on the location of some of the local vaccinations sites in Winchester we were concerned that older people without transport or concerned about using public transport might struggle getting to and from their covid jab. Also, given that many older people have been at home over the last year they would be apprehensive about leaving their homes and getting to the vaccination centre.

"So Cabs4Jabs was born and we wanted to give those people a helping hand and remove the stress from the day. Over the last 5 months we've raised over £16k and provided over 600 taxis to older people from Winchester and the surrounding areas."

Other areas included Alresford, Middle Wallop, Stockbridge, and Bishop's Waltham.

"We're so grateful for all the donations and want to say a big thank you to those people whose generosity has made a difference to people in our community and meant we were able to do our bit in support of the wider vaccination push," added Mr Perry.

"We've had so much goodwill from the community and thanks of gratitude from the people who we've provided free lifts too. It's been great to see and very heartening to hear the positive messages of support.

"We go out on a high note not hitting our overall target but knowing we've made a difference which has been great."