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Walpole Co-operative Bank Funds new Council on Aging Vehicle

Perhaps you’ve already caught a glimpse of the Walpole Council on Aging’s new minivan in your travels? Thanks to another very generous donation by Walpole Co-operative Bank, the Council on Aging is thrilled to announce the addition of a Ford Transit Connect Passenger Wagon to its fleet of passenger vehicles. The new minivan has available seating for up to 7, but it will mostly be utilized to shuttle small groups of 1-3 passengers around town and to and from local medical appointments.

Kerri McManama, Walpole Council on Aging Director, reports that, “Requests for transportation and the acuity of those seeking transportation services has increased, likely both side effects of the global pandemic.” The Department has responded to the increase in requests by adding additional days for medical rides and enlarging the geographic area covered by transportation; however, it is often just one or two riders at a time traveling to local medical offices. “Not only does this size vehicle provide a more fuel efficient choice for these smaller local rides, it also provides a more positive experience for our riders. The minivan allows for those not able to manage the steps into the larger vehicles the ability to maintain their independence in the community with dignity. While the larger vehicles do have wheelchair lifts to assist residents not able to manage the steps, we would be asking them to utilize a wheelchair when they do not otherwise require one,” states McManama. “Without Walpole Co-operative Bank’s generosity, the purchase of the new vehicle would not have been possible at this time. We are so grateful that they responded to our request positively and enthusiastically.”

This new vehicle will provide a very different experience than riding in one of the existing larger capacity vehicles. The COA drivers want to make the best and most economical choice for each trip. For trips that are just one or two riders this vehicle will provide a great customer experience. As Mary Jones, a COA Board member stated after her recent ride, “I was just so comfortable.”

In addition to providing medical rides and errands four days/week, the Council also offers daily shuttle service to and from the Center, weekly grocery shopping, regularly scheduled retail shopping, as well as many recreational excursions. For more information about transportation or other Council on Aging programs and services, please call the Center at 508-668-3330.


Council on Aging Vehicle Image 1 VanDonation2 VanDonation

 Picture 1: L to R Donna Leary, Senior Vice President, Walpole Cooperative Bank, Paul Chaggaris, President & CEO, Walpole Cooperative Bank, Kerri McManama, Director, Walpole Council on Aging, Clifton Snuffer, and Jim Johnson, Walpole Town Administrator

Picture 2: Walpole COA Driver Jim Hinds shows the ample storage in the rear area of the vehicle for durable medical equipment like canes, walkers and rollators. 

 Picture 3: Donna Leary, Paul Chaggaris and Kerri McManama check out to interior of the newly purchased Ford Transit Connect Wagon

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