Drivers with some free time targeted in campaign to help community transport
Monday, 24 September 2012
A new campaign aimed at boosting the number of volunteer drivers willing to step in and help their local communities get around, has been launched.
Community transport is vital for many in Hampshire
Transport provided by community organisations is vital for many people in Hampshire to help them access health services, go to the shops or visit friends and relatives, often because they are unable to use public transport.
Hampshire County Council in partnership with the Hampshire Volunteer Centre Network, CVS Network and the Good Neighbours Support Service has organised the campaign which is now seeking more volunteer drivers for community and voluntary transport schemes operating across Hampshire.
Support for this campaign was highlighted in a recent survey of community groups which found that around 50 per cent did not have enough drivers for the transport schemes they currently run and 80 per cent would gladly use volunteers recruited through the campaign.
Volunteers are needed to drive minibuses or their own cars
Volunteers are needed to drive minibuses owned by not-for-profit making organisations - subject to the appropriate training - or carrying passengers in their own cars for which they will receive a mileage allowance.
Councillor Mel Kendal, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said:
"Community transport is often a lifeline for people to help them maintain their independence, so we are grateful to anyone who is willing to give up some of their free time to become a volunteer driver. In Hampshire, we are fortunate to have many active community transport schemes who provide a fantastic service.
Volunteering is worthwhile as you meet new people, stay active and make a difference in your local community."
Mary Mitchell, Coordinator for the Good Neighbours Support Service, said:
"It doesn't need to be a regular commitment but helping people in your local area is reassuring for the individual concerned and satisfying for you. We welcome the opportunity to promote the need for more volunteer drivers in community transport. We would love to hear from you."
The campaign was launched (19 September) at an information and training event held to encourage and support the use of minibuses to provide community transport schemes.
Find out more about becoming a volunteer driver
The campaign will raise awareness of driving as a volunteering opportunity and how people can get involved. Anyone interested in finding out about becoming a volunteer driver can read more details online at Volunteer Drivers or contact the Hampshire Volunteer Centre Network on 0844 499 4088.