Tributes paid to community stalwart

Maureen Sanders
Maureen Sanders

Tributes have been paid to an Ellon woman who played a prominent role in community activities for around 40 years.

Maureen Sanders, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1975, died on Friday.

Mrs Sanders, 73, worked with many charities and served on various fund-raising committees in the local area.

But she is probably best known for founding the Ellon and District Disabled Taxi service that operated for more than twenty years.

She was also a founder and fund-raiser for Action Research For Multiple Sclerosis (ARMS), now called Grampian MS Therapy Centre. The centre is based in Kirkhill Industrial Estate in Dyce and provides hyperbaric and other treatments such as physiotherapy.

In the late 1990s and 2000s she carried out volunteer work in Inverurie with an organisation called Gordon Disability Action (GDA). The organisation helped to give advice to disabled in the area.

Mrs Sanders was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis shortly after arriving in Ellon in 1975.

She became wheelchair bound in 1982 but this did not halt her work and she spent most of her later years carrying out charitable endeavours.

Mrs Sanders’ main activity was with Ellon and District Transport Club, which she founded in 1991.

It was run entirely by volunteers with the aim of providing an independent and individual transport service for the disabled.

With the greater availability of suitable vehicles for private use and also the more general use of wheelchair compatible vehicles by private taxi operators meant the demand for the Transport Club taxi was reduced.

The club closed in 2011 with all remaining funds being distributed to local charities. Over its 20 years, volunteers covered more than 200,000 miles.

Mrs Sanders is survived by husband Ernest, daughters Nicola and Rachel and grandchildren, James, Maisie, Andrew and Isabel.

Her funeral will take place at St Mary-on-the-Rock in Ellon at 10.15am on Tuesday (July 21).