Even in the difficult times of the pandemic, getting out and seeing the local countryside and towns made a real difference to everyone’s mental health
We’re lucky to have our own minibus, which means that we are able to get out of Fairfield and see what’s happening in the world around us. Three times a week we go on drives round the local area without necessarily getting out of the minibus.
Just driving into Oxford city centre and seeing the beautiful college buildings, and the growing number of tourists, highlights just how privileged we are to live in the centre of Oxford.
We have enjoyed driving around the Cotswold countryside seeing the seasons change. We were even given special dispensation by Blenheim Palace during COVID to drive around the grounds, something that is not normally permitted!
Minibus trips are organised 3 times a week and any resident can go. The minibus has seats for 8 passengers. It has a powered lifting tailgate so that residents in wheelchairs or those with limited mobility can get in and out easily.
One resident said. “The minibus opens up the outside world to us. However difficult it is for us to get around physically, we are able to join in with the outings. It is very exciting and lovely to get out and about.”
Going into Oxford is a popular trip either to Blackwells bookshop, to the shops, to Pitt Rivers Museum or to the Ashmolean. Having our own transport means that we could go to local garden centres for afternoon tea or morning coffee and a bit of shopping. Yarnton Home & Garden and Millets Farm Centre are popular destinations.
The residents have set up a committee to decide where to go, places they want to visit and things they want to do. The Fairfield activities team then arrange a weekly programme of outings based on these suggestions.
Shamaila Muzammil, Fairfield’s Deputy Manager said, “Having our own minibus is a real bonus for the residents. It’s a delight to see them setting off on an outing and then hearing all about what they have seen when they return.”