A DRIVING service that provides a lifeline for supporting the community in Lustleigh has celebrated notching up a monumental amount of missions.

The Lustleigh Association of Drivers, or LADS as it’s known locally, reached its 3,000th trip of transporting those unable to drive to doctor or hospital appointments and visits back in March.

Said chairman Jeremy Grammer: ‘LADS started in 2001 and we have managed to keep going throughout the pandemic.

‘The service takes people on doctor and hospital appointments and other essential visits as far as Exeter.

‘We thought our 3,000 mission was a bit of a milestone and worth celebrating, particularly in recognition to all the drivers over the years who have given up their time to keep the service going,’ added Jeremy.

‘This is especially so in the past months of lockdowns and restrictions where essential visits to medical appointments have been maintained throughout with no hesitation from out drivers.’

Behind the scenes, LADS administrator Helen Dray has been quietly managing all the day-to-day bookings during the lockdowns and has ensured that all infection controls are applied and maintained for the safety of passengers and drivers.

Clocking up trip number 3,000 on March 23 were driver Maureen Lloyd-Baker and passenger Clive Pearson who completed a return trip to Moretonhampstead.

Earlier this week they both received a specially commissioned commemorative artwork created by local artist Jo Callan Downs.