Taxi company provides free rides for those receiving COVID-19 vaccination
- Credit: Corker Cars
A St Albans taxi company is providing free rides to vaccination centres to encourage the elderly and vulnerable to attend their COVID jab appointments.
Corker Cars, which are based at St Albans City railway station, have been assisting the elderly, vulnerable and those facing financial difficulties by offering lifts to and from vaccination appointments, absolutely free of charge.
The scheme, known as Cabs 4 Jabs, was motivated by the owners facing personal bereavements, losing family members to COVID-19 in recent weeks.
Part-owner and taxi driver Mudassar Yasin told the Herts Ad: "I've picked up a few customers, and they were saying themselves that it had been difficult - not just for themselves but for their parents - to get themselves up to Batchwood. Sometimes it's a matter of money and sometimes it's a matter of transport."
Mudassar continued to say that he knew of some residents in St Albans that would have to take two buses to get to their appointment, and wanted to make sure that no one felt put off getting their vaccine.
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With the support of St Albans District councillor Mandy McNeil, the Corker team promoted the initiative on Facebook, and have since been "inundated" with calls and demand for the Cabs 4 Jabs service.
To support the scheme, as well as the drivers providing the free lifts, Corker has set up a JustGiving page, where members of the community can directly contribute to the initiative to ensure it keeps running.
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After receiving a £1,000 donation from a regular patron, Corker is aiming to raise a further £2,500 to make sure their drivers continue to earn a wage.
Fellow part-owner Nav Sharif said: "Our drivers really have been struggling. Business is down 90 to 95 per cent, and these drivers are literally earning £15 or £20 a day on average. It's a difficult time for everybody."
Nav says that the company has already given £1,500 of free rides to vaccination centres so far.
"It's about the community spirit, isn't it? And getting everybody involved," he continued.
"We grew up in St Albans and we just want to give something back to the community."
"It's been a difficult time, but we're all in the same storm, we've all got to unite and help each other where we can.
"Hopefully we can see the light now and, come June, things will be back to normal."
Along with their third partner, Answar Jalil, Corker hopes to continue community initiatives, including their annual trip to Southend-on-Sea with elderly and vulnerable residents and their carers.
To donate to Corker Cars' JustGiving page, which will continue to fund free taxi rides for those who need assistance getting to their COVID-19 vaccination appointment, click here.
To book a free ride with Corker, visit the Cabs 4 Jabs section of their website.