Thursday, July 25, 2024

Community Transport Needs You!

West Berkshire Council is looking to help the Community Transport Schemes in the district recruit more volunteer drivers.

Community Transport Groups in West Berkshire need drivers for their community buses, Handybuses, and own car drivers for their Community Car Schemes.

If you have some time to spare each week (as little or as much as you like) then you could help us support a valuable service to your local community.

The Handybuses provide regular transport for the elderly and disabled people for shopping trips, visits to clubs, as well as occasional days out such as trip to the seaside or Christmas Market.

If you have a category D1 on your driving licence then you can drive one of our 10/11 seater minibuses modified to provide easy access. Full-training will be given to learn about the operation of the bus and how to ensure the safe boarding, transportation and disembarking of passengers.

The Community Car Scheme takes individuals to where they need to be such as a hospital appointment or just a much needed catch-up with a friend. The Community Transport Groups need individuals who are happy to use their own vehicle to help people get to these places. Fuel costs are fully reimbursed.

One user when asked about what they thought of the Handybus said: “We give this service 100 out of 100. I couldn’t get up here (Sainsburys) without it. I really look forward to our driver coming each week and seeing my friends. We usually have a cup of tea and a good catch-up before we go home.”

Patrick, an 88 year old user of the Community Car Scheme said: “It’s an excellent service to the hospital, doctors and dentist or wherever I need to go. I always enjoy chatting to the drivers who are always very good. They are also very patient with me as I am quite slow.”

Jeanette Clifford, West Berkshire Council’s Executive Member for Highways and Transport said: “This service is much needed and these volunteer roles are extremely important to the residents of West Berkshire. By giving up some of your time you provide a life-line to those who otherwise run the risk of becoming socially isolated. Many really look forward to their day out and for some, it may the only interaction they have on a weekly basis. Not only are you giving something back to your community but it is also an extremely rewarding experience to see such joy in the users faces.”

Garry Poulson, Director of Volunteer Centre West Berkshire said:

“This is one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways of helping in your community. Our volunteers provide an amazing service helping groups of people or individuals. The work is fun, relaxing and you know that you’re making a real contribution to the life of the area.”

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer driver for one of the 14 Community Transport Groups in the district then please call: 01635 503248 or alternatively visit our website: