THE Cowes community has raised almost $9000 for a local bus driver’s recovery after an accident.

Paul ‘Chippa’ Chipperfield is well-known throughout the Phillip Island community for making sure kids get home safely on the V/Line and specialist school buses.

His big personality made him a favourite bus driver of many school kids, friend Liza Lee told the Sentinel-Times.

“He’s got a great character, he’s very funny and likes to have a laugh,” she said.

A GoFundMe was set up by his stepdaughter Krystal Mayers to assist Paul and wife Jenny on his road to recovery.

In May, Paul was taken to the Alfred Hospital to undergo surgery on his spine.

He is currently undergoing rehab to learn to walk again.

Krystal said Paul had been in her life for almost as long as she could remember.

“My kids are like his own grandkids,” she said.

“[Jenny and Paul] are genuinely such good people. They have done so much for me and my four kids.”

Originally Krystal set the fundraising target at $1000.

“There’s no way I would ever had thought we would raise this much,” Krystal said.

The fundraiser now sits at $8700.

Jenny Chipperfield said until Paul comes home, they aren’t sure what sort of modifications the house will need.

“The support we have had has just been overwhelming,” Jenny said.

“I don’t know how to put it into words.”

Donation tins have been set up at Cowes Corner Takeaway, Cowes IGA, Youki’s Japanese Restaurant and Island Eats.

To donate online, head to gofundme.com/f/small-helping-hand-for-paul.