A CHARITY providing a lifeline for the elderly and disabled which faced an uncertain future has been saved by a £27,000 cash boost from the council.
Dial-a-Ride, based on Avenue Parade, Accrington, had a mere £300 left in its coffers to fund the services it provides to Hyndburn folk.
Last month the charity also faced having to pull one of its three buses off the road after Hyndburn Council threatened to withdraw its £7,500 a year grant.
But in a dramatic U-turn the council has pledged £9,000 a year until 2008 from its Community Chest Fund to keep the charity on the road.
Council Leader Peter Britcliffe said: "This is a real bonanza for this local charity and it is wonderful news for all concerned. I am delighted that the council has been able to make this money available although it took a long time to get here.
"This shows that our number one priority is the vulnerable and elderly in society."
A cheque for the cash was handed over to Dial-a-Ride manager Norma Farmer on Wednesday at Scaitcliffe House in Accrington.
She said: "This is excellent news and when I heard the news it put a big smile on my face. It couldn't have come at a better time and it will definitely help keep us on the road."
Dial-a-Ride, which has been running for more than 20 years was founded by the Inskip League of Friends to help transport people with mobility problems. All its vehicles are equipped with low steps, wheelchairs and extra handrails.
For the next three years, the council has also pledged £30,000 to Age Concern and Accrington Blind Society.
Patrick Collister, of Age Concern said: "The grant is gratefully accepted and it will enable us to keep our services running at their present levels. This will enable us to continue to help improve people's quality of life."