EXMOOR countryman and TV star Johnny Kingdom will be helping Go North Devon to get off the ground on Friday. The Northern Devon Community Transport Association, which provides a range of community transport and mobility services, is changing its name to G
EXMOOR countryman and TV star Johnny Kingdom will be helping Go North Devon to get off the ground on Friday.The Northern Devon Community Transport Association, which provides a range of community transport and mobility services, is changing its name to Go North Devon and Johnny will be officially announcing the new name at a ceremony at the Shopmobility Centre in Albert Lane, Barnstaple.At 11.30am it will be "Go Johnny Go" as he cuts a celebratory cake and takes a ride on a Shopmobility scooter.The charity organisation is best known for running the Barnstaple Shopmobility service, which every week loans wheelchairs and electric scooters to up to 100 people with mobility problems. It also runs the popular Ring and Ride minibus scheme, which enables people living in outlying areas to visit Barnstaple town centre regularly. The organisation hopes the new name will better reflect the range of services and volunteering opportunities it offers.Go North Devon manager Sharon Lynch said: "We hope that by changing our name we will enhance our public perception. Apart from being a long-winded name, the old one didn't promote the spirit of independence and life-enhancing mobility and journey opportunities that Shopmobility and Ring and Ride provide for so many people. "While we receive some financial support from North Devon District Council and Devon County Council we are, in fact, a charitable organisation that relies very heavily on donations, grants and on people giving up their time to help others. We desperately need both donations and volunteers in order to meet the £110,000 running costs of Shopmobility and Ring and Ride. At the moment we have shortfalls of £25,000 on Shopmobility and £4,000 on Ring and Ride and since Christmas we have sadly had to stop the Saturday Shopmobility service due to lack of funds."On the volunteer front, Go North Devon needs five helpers for the Shopmobility Centre in Barnstaple, six people to act as sighted escorts for the partially sighted and eight for its summer Leisuremobility service which enables people to visit to Ilfracombe, Lynmouth and Rosemoor Gardens at Torrington.The re-branding exercise has been carried out free of charge by Filleigh-based marketing communications specialist Bray Leino. To find out more about the services of Go North Devon, volunteering or making a donation, visit the Shopmobility Centre or call Sharon or Malcolm on (01271) 328866.