Driving Miss Daisy

Driving Miss Daisy is coming to the Isle of Wight on May 1st, but this time it is much more than just the Academy Award winning film.

This is an innovative community companion driving service called Driving Miss Daisy, synonymous with and inspired by the film, which featured Morgan Freeman as a driver for his elderly client. The Driving Miss Daisy idea originated in Canada with just a single vehicle, but now has 37 UK branches, with the Island next on the list.

Local residents and business partners Graham Tutton, Ian Luff and his wife Mo, are delighted to launch this much needed service on the Island. Graham said: “Ian and I have been running a business together in Cowes for nearly 17 years. But we wanted to be more involved in the Island’s community needs and were most impressed by the services of Driving Miss Daisy.

“All of their vehicles are adapted to accommodate wheelchairs, folding mobility scooters and pushchairs, so we look forward to transporting the elderly, disabled, children and even pets. There are so many wonderful places to visit on the Island and we intend to address the needs of people wanting to visit friends, or go to their local Doctor’s surgery or even to hospital appointments.”

The Isle of Wight branch will be based in Cowes, where one of the Daisy drivers, Mo Luff, has lived for 46 years. Mo said: “I’ve worked in mental health and with dementia patients for over 17 years. I currently work in the Shackleton Ward of St. Mary’s Hospital and believe my training will prove invaluable and be of comfort to some people wishing to use Driving Miss Daisy. We intend to cover Cowes, Newport and maybe Ryde, but if public demand warrants it then we hope to build our fleet of cars to cover the whole of the Island.”

One of the key reasons behind why Driving Miss Daisy has been so well received by the elderly and those who care for them, is that their companion drivers give clients back their independence in a reliable, safe and secure environment. The ethos behind their service is ‘We’re family when family can’t be there’ which is invaluable in the UK’s current overstretched climate. Every driver is first-aid qualified and they are presently engaging in dementia and Alzheimer’s awareness courses.

Their specialist vehicles are adorned with the brand’s daisy symbol and the drivers are affectionately known as ‘Daisies’. Driving Miss Daisy have gained numerous glowing testimonies to their trusted service. Its founder, Paul Nuth, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Graham, Ian and Mo on board and I’m confident that the Isle of Wight community will embrace their services as driving companions. So many families have grown to trust the service with their loved ones, knowing we will go the extra mile.”

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