A RHYL taxi firm which has been operating for just over a year is offering transport free of charge to elderly and vulnerable passengers attending Covid vaccine appointments.

Will’s Taxis in Rhyl will transport patients to appointment at local vaccination centres based in Rhyl, Rhuddlan and Kinmel Bay areas.

These will be booked through GP Practices and users can also pre-book their second vaccination date pick-up with the taxi firm for piece of mind.

A fundraising page has been set up to help Will’s Taxis operate the service.

William Price, known as Will, who started the firm in January 2020, implemented the scheme but the idea only started after an honest mistake.

“I have built up quite a nice customer base through friend and family but soon found myself too busy, even through the first-lock down,” Will said.

“During the second lock down, business became very gloomy. It dried up, regular customers were staying in and I probably lost about 70 per cent of my usual business. There is no night work so everyone in the taxi game is looking for work.

“On January 28, 2021, I started getting phone calls from customers asking if they can book their free taxi for their Covid jab. I knew nothing about it.

“Five phone calls later I phoned the surgery back and I explained I knew nothing about these free taxis and regrettably, I could not afford to do them. I was told there was a mistake in an email and they would rectify the problem.

“I was talking to my driver, Duncan, about it and he sent me a screen shot of a taxi business in Winchester that had the original idea.

“So now we have ‘Cabs for Jabs’. The idea is to give free taxis £260 but he is hoping to reach his target of £1,000.

“I’ve had some fantastic positive feedback and now the hard work begins - social media messages, emails to everyone etc," he said.

“There are a lot of local people, for one reason or another, who can’t get to their clinics whether it be for financial or medical reasons.

“This service is there for them and at the same time, keeps a small business ticking over in these very uncertain times.”

With being a new business, Will has been unable to apply for grants or financial help from the Welsh and UK Government agencies.

“It has been a case of endless hours just to try and survive,” Will added.

“I do understand everyone is carrying some sort of burden and money is very tight, but you are helping our elderly an vulnerable in our community and helping a small and caring firm survive at the same time.”

Gwyn Hughes, practice manager at Clarence Medical Centre, said: "This [transport service] will be on a strict case by case basis but it is an amazing idea and gesture and will benefit the greater community.

"Clarence are very grateful for Will coming up with this idea and are trying to support the fund to help the whole community."

To donate, visit gofund.me/d23794b1