Many of your readers will know about, and use, the Voluntary Car Service.
The objective is to provide low cost, subsidised, transport to people in need without their own transport. It is provided to parishioners in South Holland whose parish councils subscribe to the service via the use of private cars driven by volunteer drivers.
Parishes subscribing to the service and their organisers are:
Spalding and Cowbit, Iris Landen, 20 drivers (01775 766085);
Holbeach, Monica Venni, 7 drivers (01406 422791);
Crowland, Crowland Cares, 12 drivers (01733 211797);
Sutton Bridge, Maureen Shortland, 6 drivers (01406 350092);
Long Sutton, Gedney and Lutton, Sharon Kazombiaze, 13 drivers (01406 366820);
The Moultons, Westons and Whaplode, Pat Preston, 7 drivers (01775 719290).
All our organisers are voluntary and do not get paid.
The overall service co-ordinator and driver is Greg Greene (01775 630144).
People living in those parishes wishing to use the car service should ring the above named organisers to book transport. Unfortunately, residents living in parishes whose parish councils choose not to belong to the service are not able to use the scheme. We understand that Donington runs its own scheme from The Ruby Hunt Centre. Our Spalding organiser is frequently asked by people living in Pinchbeck and Surfleet if they can book a car but Iris has to decline the request because those parishes are not members.
We would dearly love to see the whole of South Holland covered by this services and would welcome present non-members to join us.
Residents in areas not covered are advised to speak to their district councillors/parish council, to ask them to re-consider. We would have a volunteer organiser and drivers if the non- participating parishes wish to join the scheme.
Benefits to residents living in participating parishes include:
Journeys to hospitals, (including Spalding, Boston, Holbeach, Wisbech, Peterborough, Addenbrooke’s, Nottingham, Stamford, King’s Lynn, etc), medical centres, dentists, chiropodists, shopping (if driver available) visiting relatives/nursing homes.
Door to door travel with no waiting charges, all ages and disabilities (limited), public liability insurance, parking fees, peace of mind and low costs, male and female drivers and all drivers are DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checked.
Passengers pay the driver 35p per mile and there is a minimum charge of £4 for journeys less than 10 miles.
The charity receives a precept equivalent to a penny rate from participating parishes.
For the year from April 2014 to March 2015 we assisted 8,445 clients and covered 191,194 miles.
The trustees would like to thank our service co-ordinator, all our organisers and drivers for providing such a valuable service. Please don’t get upset with our organisers if they have to decline your request for transport if your parish does not belong to the scheme. A word with your councillor or parish clerk might encourage them to join us so that we can help you.