Mencap minibus is a fitting tribute to Gary

A customised minibus has been bought for Scarborough Mencap in memory of one of its biggest supporters.

Businessman Gary Ledden’s death in April 2018 came as a huge shock to his family, friends and employees, many of whom have contributed to the cost of the minibus.

OurCo, which runs a charity shop in Northway, wanted to raise money in Gary’s memory and asked Gary’s family who the beneficiary should be.

They nominated Mencap, one of Gary’s favourite charities, along with OurCo. Gary and his family, through their business Nippy Taxis, have supported Mencap and its clients for over 50 years, initially providing home-to-school transport and then continuing the service into adulthood and independence at Brookleigh, Scarborough & District Mencap’s base in Valley Road.

At the time of Gary’s death, Mencap had just launched a £25,000 fundraising campaign to buy a wheelchair-accessible minibus. It was needed to take clients on trips out, and for the trips to be inclusive of all members.

OurCo set the fundraising ball rolling. Its initial donation was matched by Nippy and followed by donations from Gary’s family and many of his friends and business associates.

Within a short period of time, enough money had been raised to buy a minibus, which was formally presented at Brookleigh.

The handover ceremony was attended by members of Gary’s family, OurCo volunteers, Mencap representatives and the mayor, Cllr Joe Plant.

OurCo helps those in need in the Scarborough area by giving its monthly profits from the sale of items in the shop to causes identified by local voluntary and charitable organisations. It is a local charity for local people.

When OurCo had to move from Falsgrave, Gary offered the old Evening News office in the town centre, rent free. Later, he offered them further retail units in Northway, again rent free, where it operates from today. One is used as a shop, the other for storage.

“Gary was very genuine in his offers to help the charity”, said a spokesperson for the family. “He would be so proud and honoured that so many people have given so generously in his name. He would be delighted that such a worthwhile cause is going to benefit from this generosity. He would have a smile on his face seeing his name on the back of a minibus. A most fitting tribute”.