Volunteer drivers wanted for Getabout transport scheme
21st Nov 2017
Northumberland transport access scheme Getabout is looking to recruit more volunteer drivers to help meet growing need in particular the rural West and North of the county.
Run by Adapt (North East) with support from Community Action Northumberland and funded by Northumberland County Council, Getabout is a free service for people having difficulty getting out and about.
The service offers information and advice to help people access existing community transport schemes and public transport services, but can also provide a volunteer driver who will drive their own car to transport people to essential services such as health appointments.
Getabout volunteers are paid 45p per mile for taking people in their car to a pre-booked destination and will receive appropriate training.
Volunteers will also have the opportunity to drive for other local schemes. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer driver or would like to find out more, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Andrew at Adapt (North East) on 03333 441740.
Case study – Clive Taylor, Volunteer Driver
Clive is a volunteer driver for Getabout, taking people in his own car on journeys they’d be unable to make without some support. Here he tells us what the role involves, and why he’d recommend it to anyone looking to give something back to their community in a flexible way.
“I’m a fairly busy bloke, but when I saw the advert in a local newsletter requesting volunteer drivers it struck me as something I could fit into my life pretty easily, with a great deal of flexibility and minimum training. I’d been considering doing some volunteering ever since I retired 4 years ago, and this type of work is ideally suited to someone like me, as the service is mostly needed during the day when people have appointments to get to.
“I was invited to a day’s training in Hexham, covering the basics such as what to do if your car breaks down, how to handle people, that sort of common sense thing. It also covered dealing with expenses such as petrol costs and car parking charges, as we get reimbursed for all of those.
“So, a couple of times a week, I pick people up and take them to where they need to be, it’s as simple as that.
“I help one gentleman on a regular basis which I enjoy. I take him on a Friday afternoon to visit his wife in a residential care home 20 miles away. He couldn’t get there himself as there’s no public transport available and it obviously means a lot to them both to keep this visit going. I leave him there for a couple of hours then pick him up, which is convenient for me as I use that time to get the weekly shop in!
“For me I feel it’s a really vital role for the simple fact that there are a significant number of people in the community with little or no access to reliable transport, which is where Getabout comes in. That’s when I can ‘step into the breach’ and help these folk.
“I certainly get a real kick out of helping make their journey and their day easier. Going somewhere new or on your own can seem simple to most of us, but can be very nerve-racking for an elderly person. I don’t just drop them at the door, I like to help them to where they need to be in the hospital before leaving them in someone else’s hands. That makes the difference, using a bit of common sense and being fairly sociable.
“For those thinking about volunteering, I’d say give it a shot! Every person I’ve taken has been appreciative of the effort, happy such a valuable service exists.”