People interested in helping their communities to get out and about are being encouraged to mark this year’s National Volunteers’ Week (1 - 7 June) by coming forward and teaming up with Cumbria County Council’s Community Transport service.
New faces are needed to join the voluntary social car and community minibus schemes, providing transport for people who cannot make journeys by public or private transport.
The council’s Community Transport service has a team of over 127 volunteers who have made thousands of journeys helping to get people out and about. There are approximately 50 voluntary social car schemes operating throughout Cumbria, as well as a number of community transport schemes providing journeys for people who need to do the weekly shop, see the doctor, or just to visit friends.
The council are always on the look-out for more people able to give up some of their spare time to be volunteer drivers or scheme coordinators. All expenses are reimbursed.
A spokesperson said: "We are specifically looking for Volunteer Co-ordinators in Grange-over-Sands, Ulverston, Maryport, Workington, Whitehaven, St Bees, Egremont, Cleator Moor and Silloth."
Anyone interested in finding out more should contact Katy Wood, the council’s Voluntary Transport Officer on 07788396194, or visit the CCC website.
Social Worker Car Service for Children and Young People
The council is also recruiting voluntary drivers to join the Social Worker Car Service for Children and Young People in the south of Cumbria. This is to provide essential transport for vulnerable children and families in the south of the county.
There are no set hours or distances, as this will depend on the needs of the service - it may be helping on a school run, or transporting parents to meetings with children.
All you need is a clean full UK driving licence and a serviced and insured car. You will be reimbursed for the cost of your mileage at the rate of 45p per mile and training will be provided. The position is subject to a DBS check - if you would like to know more information, then please contact council officer Angela Cockram on 07881006284.
Councillor Keith Little, Cumbria County Council Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “Our volunteers do a fantastic job and play a vital role getting people out and about, we couldn’t provide a service without their valued efforts. We’re always looking for more volunteers to support our community transport schemes, so if you have some time to spare we’d love to hear from you.”
Recognising the efforts and support from volunteers in communities across Cumbria throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, Cllr Deborah Earl, Cabinet Member for Public Health, added: “I’d just like to say a huge thank you to the hundreds of people that have given their time, support and kindness to helping support people during the last year.
“It has been tough for us all, but the role of volunteers and the contribution they have made to their local communities has been so valuable and appreciated - from shopping trips and collecting prescriptions for elderly or vulnerable people, to supporting neighbours, friends and loved ones during the lockdown periods, your kindness has helped countless families through these challenging times.