Community Impact Bucks is looking for volunteer drivers to support the county’s network of Community Transport schemes by joining an existing car or bus scheme, or by setting up a new group in their local area.
Community Transport schemes are run by volunteers to provide an essential transport service to the local community. Drivers use their own cars or community buses to take older people, or those without another means of transport available, to medical appointments as well as some social and shopping trips.
There are 60 voluntary car and bus schemes in Buckinghamshire with scope and range of service determined by the community and the volunteers. Currently the 50 car and 10 bus schemes make a total of over 25,000 journeys each year, with the most common journey being to a hospital or GP appointment.
Our 2019 survey of the Community Transport car schemes found:
- 94% of trips were for medical appointments (29% to GPs and 65% to hospitals)
- 6% were social including trips to day centres, lunch clubs, shops
- 72% of drivers are 65+ years
- 44% of car schemes make between 500-1000 journeys per year
- There are currently no schemes covering Aylesbury and High Wycombe
“Since the closure of both British Red Cross and Royal Voluntary Service transport schemes in Bucks, there has been noticeable rise in numbers of calls to our helpline Transport Hub, particularly for Aylesbury and High Wycombe areas,” said Helen Archer, Community Impact Bucks’ project officer. “Their closure, coupled with an ageing population, has meant there is huge need for community transport schemes in our county.”
As one Community Transport bus volunteer stated: “The best thing about our scheme is that we can offer a service around our villages that means people can get out. Our bus group helps not only to tackle loneliness but also helps people be independent for longer.”
Buckinghamshire County Council helps to fund the work Community Impact Bucks do with local transport schemes and also supports the Community Transport Hub information service.
Mark Shaw, Buckinghamshire County Council Deputy Leader and Transport Cabinet Member, said: “In a rural county like ours, community transport schemes play a vital role in combatting social isolation and helping people who can’t use conventional transport to get out and about. Community transport volunteers play an important part in serving these needs and making life better for people.”
Community Impact Bucks offers support for new and existing Community Transport schemes including:
- Up to 10 days’ free support to communities wishing to explore potential for a new scheme
- Help in developing business plans, bespoke policies and operational material
- Training on safeguarding as well as recruiting volunteers/ trustees and co-ordinator roles
- Guidance on how to apply for Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO status)
If you anyone would like to volunteer for an existing transport scheme or start a new scheme, contact Helen Archer at Community Impact Bucks (T: 0330 236 9350/ E: firstname.lastname@example.org)
For any media enquiries or interviews, please contact Rachel Fisher/ Helen Archer
T: 0330 236 9350
Notes for editors:
- Community Impact Bucks is an independent charity that supports people and groups to get involved and make a difference in Buckinghamshire communities. We offer expert advice and training, help people to find volunteering opportunities, and help charities and not for profit groups to get started, be effective and grow.
- Community Impact Bucks’ directly delivered services focus on supporting those most in need – the elderly, vulnerable and socially isolated. We also work in the heart of the community to develop volunteer driven solutions and are the Rural Community Council for Buckinghamshire.
- Community Transport Scheme: we provide up to 10 days’ free support to communities wishing to explore potential for a Community Transport Scheme. For more information, click here.
- The Community Transport Survey was published in June 2019 to 60 Community Transport Schemes (car and bus) in Buckinghamshire.
- Case study of volunteer driver for South Bucks Hospice, click here
- Case study of volunteer driver in Iver (South Bucks) area – click here
- Case study of volunteer driver for Iver’s Good Neighbours scheme – click here
- Community Transport Hub: we deliver signposting information, advice and guidance to Bucks residents without access to public/private transport: in 2017/18, the Hub received over 350 calls – 90% of the which were health-related, either travelling to hospital or doctor’s surgery. For more information, click here.