A 'Big Surprise' for Norfolk National Lottery-funded hero
PUBLISHED: 12:24 11 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:24 11 October 2018
A community driver who helps elderly people get about in north Norfolk is set to get a 'Big Surprise' on national television.
The National Lottery arranged for Vic Evans to hang up his minibus keys and enjoy a ride in a Lotus at Snetterton race track.
He believed he was attending a conference with some of his passengers. Instead, the North Norfolk Community Transport (NNCT) driver was welcomed with cheers from colleagues, and representatives of Stratton Race Team strapped him in as a passenger for the ride of his life.
About five million people are expected to watch his ‘Big Surprise’, which will air across the ITV network on Saturday, October 13 during the ad break in The X Factor.
The father-of-two from Reepham said: “I’m completely overwhelmed at this surprise. I’m just a small part of the team so to be recognised like this is very humbling.
“I really do feel honoured and blessed to be a part of this project. We offer a vital and practical service, but more importantly companionship to Norfolk’s older folk, and we have plenty of laughs along the way.
“Seeing new members who might at first be very nervous, or who, as in one lady’s case, hadn’t left the house for two years, start developing new friendships and confidence on the bus makes it the best job in the world.”
The National Lottery’s ‘Big Surprise’ honours the individuals who have made a real difference with the help of National Lottery funding.
And the ‘Big Surprise’ is a 90-second weekly slot during the ad break of Saturday night primetime ITV shows.
NNCT provides a service to people who are without their own transport and unable to use public transport, either because of ill-health, disability or because there is no service meeting their needs.
Since he started driving the minibus in 2014, Mr Evans has built up friendships with older people, many of whom live alone, quite literally offering a lifeline. He was recognised for the companionship for his ‘Big Surprise’.
North Walsham-based NNCT has received £332,000 in funding from The National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund.