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Taxi drivers help give children another incredible day out

How many young people enjoy parades organised in their honour and have an entire town come to a standstill to welcome them?

This is the special treat organised each year by the Glasgow Taxi Outing Fund for young people in the city with special needs.

The event – dubbed the Taxi to Troon – sees taxi drivers take deserving youngsters on a free special trip to the seaside town and has been taking place since 1945, with more than 74,000 children having enjoyed the outings since then.

Donations

And this year, Patons Insurance has had the pleasure of making a donation to the fund, which covers any costs so that the young people and their families can enjoy their special day out at no cost.

Staff from our Glasgow office also joined in the carnival atmosphere, and helped collect donations from the hundreds of spectators who lined the streets of Glasgow as well as Troon to cheer on the procession of taxis, many of which had once again been decorated for the occasion.

Kind-hearted cabbies went to great lengths to put on fancy dress and decorate their cabs. One taxi was decorated as a golden ticket from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – complete with Willy Wonka and Oompa Loompas – while other characters included The Pink Panther, Batman and Robin, and Nintendo characters Mario and Luigi.

Warm welcome

As the procession – led by the Police Pipe Band – made its way into Troon, shops had been decorated and many staff had taken the trouble to put on fancy dress to welcome their special visitors. The youngsters were looking forward to a day at the beach in the sunshine, but just in case it did not put in an appearance, Troon Town Hall was on standby as always during the event in case of bad weather.

Fortunately, it was a glorious day and once again, the people of Troon pulled out all the stops, with clowns, jugglers, and musicians entertaining the youngsters and the nurses and carers who accompany them.

Volunteers

As well as taxi drivers donating their time and cabs, the event would not be possible without a huge amount of organisation, such as road closures, police escorts, and medical support, none of which could take place without the dedicated volunteers who run the Fund.

Not only did they make sure everything went ahead smoothly, they gave even more of their time to pack 800 lunch boxes and 800 bags of sweets for the children, their carers, and the drivers.

The day was also special for Rosemary Gibson, Operations Manager for Patons Insurance, who has a personal affection for the outing.

She said: “My family and I have been involved with the Glasgow Taxi Outing since I was a child, and my dad was also a committee member at one point.

“It is a special and unique event which has been carried on by generations of taxi drivers.

“This year’s event was another fantastic day out for the young people of Glasgow, all because of the kind heartedness of the city’s taxi drivers and Fund volunteers who donate their time for free to help make a difference – and it really does.

“This fantastic tradition has been going on for 79 years and we are honoured to be able to help with our donation.

“As well as enjoying the carnival atmosphere, our staff felt privileged to be able to help on what is a very special occasion.”

All information is correct at time of publication. Information provided within this article may have changed over time. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by John Patons Insurance Services or any of its employees.

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