Transport access scheme Getabout is looking to recruit more volunteer drivers to help meet growing need in rural north Northumberland.
Run by Adapt (North East) with support from Community Action Northumberland and funded by Northumberland County Council, Getabout is a free service for people who struggle to get out and about.
It 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.
Clive Taylor, a volunteer driver for Getabout, recommends it to anyone looking to give something back to their community in a flexible way.
He said: “When I saw the advert 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 and this sort of thing suited 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 and how to handle people. 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.
“It’s a vital role because there are a significant number of people in the community with little or no access to reliable transport, which is where Getabout comes in.”
To find out more, including becoming a driver, call Andrew on 03333 441740.