A BIG-HEARTED driver is offering free rides to elderly residents who need to get their Covid vaccinations.

Matt Malones, 49, of Malones Executive Private Hire in Tiptree is offering his new ‘Cab and Jab’ service to Tiptree residents.

A typical round trip from Tiptree to the Colchester vaccination centres is about £18 but Matt has decided to waive the fee.

With eight people already helped out so far, he hopes to keep the community spirit going.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Matt Malones and his private hire seven-seaterMatt Malones and his private hire seven-seater

Matt says he found himself sitting at home with nothing to do with airport transfers and London runs on hold.

He said: “At first I put something on social media saying I would have a free trip to and from Tiptree Medical Centre for elderly residents.

“There’s not like a local bus service which can take them.

“But I had to amend it when I found out the centre weren’t doing them just yet.

“I still wanted to offer the service to Colchester.

“At least I’m doing something to help people out. How are they supposed to get there otherwise?”

As well as transporting passengers, Matt gets regularly tested for Covid to make sure it is safe to travel in his cab.

The scheme has caught the attention of businesses who have donated money towards his running costs, and helped him advertise, and Tiptree Volunteers who are donating their time.

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A PayPal funding page has also been set up for him so residents can donate to him too.

Matt added: “The donations have been rolling in for me to do this and it’s just fantastic.

“It’s given me a new lease of life because I’ve been at home doing nothing.

“I’m now able to help so many people.

“I’m blown away by all the responses and all the kind messages on the community page.

“I’m also blown away by all the kind donations and support people have given.

“The village is just superb.”

So far, he has received more than £400 which could fund more than 20 round trips for those in need.

To donate, click here and to book a ride, call 07725 658105.