FOR DECADES Tom Atkinson has had an ambition to ride in a Rolls Royce - and now at the age of 89 he has finally realised his dream.

Tom was given a ride in a roller thanks to a scheme organised by Aireborough Voluntary Services to the Elderly. The neighbourhood network based in Yeadon works with Aireborough residents over 60 years of age to combat isolation by offering social centres, exercise classes, fish and chip delivery and handyman services.

Michelle Phillips from AVSED said: “We sent each of our members a star with their last newsletter and asked them to write something on it that they have always wanted to do. Tom, who has been a member for many years, completed his star and asked for a ride in a Rolls Royce. It’s been an ambition since the 1970s to get in - or maybe one day own - a Rolls Royce car, but sadly it has never happened.

“When he sent in his star we immediately called out to the local community through Facebook and we were overwhelmed by such generous offers from so many people for the use of their beloved vehicles. Jamie Taylor, the Brand Manager at JCT600 Leeds, got in touch also, with the offer of not only a ride out in a Rolls Royce, but that Tom could invite two others to share the experience and also included money towards dinner out too.

“We usually deliver Tom fish and chips on a Friday so we decided on dinner at Murgatroyds. I wrote to the restaurant to ask if they could help us cover the costs and Laura Macfarlane, business development manager at Murgatroyds, was so generous and sent us a £25 voucher.”

Tom and Joan Jacques, 89, and John Wright, 92, enjoyed a trip in a Rolls Royce Phantom, driven byJCT600 driver Michael Brooklands.

Michelle said: “Michael showed Tom, Joan and John the luxuries of the car - including umbrellas in the door and crystals in the ceiling - and then took them for a drive down through Pool-in-Wharfedale and Otley before returning to Yeadon for dinner at Murgatroyds.

“Tom, who believed that this was something we may not have been able to achieve for him, said that there were no words to explain what a day it had been, and how much he had enjoyed it.

“It was a truly wonderful day that showed just how powerful a community can be and we would like to say thank you again to everyone that offered their vehicles to us, but especially Jamie, Laura and Michael for giving Tom and his friends such a wonderful experience.”