A COMMUNITY transport service in Cirencester has put out a plea for drivers as demands on the service rise.
Local charity Cotswold Friends is putting out a plea for drivers in the North Cotswolds and Cirencester areas, as the demand on its Community Transport Service continues to increase.
Mre than 1,600 people living in the Cotswolds use Cotswold Friends’ Community Transport Service, which undertakes more than 12,000 journeys a year in North Cotswolds and Cirencester.
Jo Hammond, CEO of Cotswold Friends said: “With many hospitals catching up with appointments after the pandemic, plus the roll-out of this season’s COVID and flu vaccinations, many of our older, vulnerable clients are needing transport to medical appointments right now.
“This is putting pressure on our existing volunteer drivers and our Community Transport service as a whole, which is vital to so many older and vulnerable people who do not have access to public transport or find it difficult to use.
“Volunteering is enjoyable and rewarding, and there is so much to be gained from it. Our drivers tell us that they feel more connected to their community and enjoy meeting new people, often making friends for life.
“Drivers are paid up to 50p per mile which significantly helps with the running costs of their vehicle. You’ll be at the heart of delivering our mission to reduce isolation and support older and vulnerable people to live independently in your local community in the North Cotswolds and Cirencester areas.”
Keith Baalham, a Cotswold Friends volunteer driver in Cirencester, added: “I was interested in becoming a volunteer for Cotswold Friends because I wanted something to do in my spare time and to help the community.
“In terms of how volunteering has been helpful to me, at my age, it’s not about the practical benefits but the pleasure of helping others and, in so doing, meeting new people.”
A driving role at Cotswold Friends provides complete volunteering flexibility. Drivers can let the charity’s Booking Office know when they want to drive and what types of journey they are happy to do; some drivers like local drives, others prefer longer journeys.
If you think volunteer driving could be for you, get in touch with Cotswold Friends’ Volunteer Manager, Sheryl Murray, on 01608 697007 or email email@example.com.