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Volunteer appeal to help take people to doctors' appointments

Volunteer appeal to help take people to doctors' appointments

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 7:31am 28th April 2019.

An appeal has gone out for volunteer drivers across Cornwall - to help take people to doctors' appointments.

Cornwall Community Transport provides transport for people who find it difficult to get to hospital, GP or dental appointments.

The service serves clients in south east Cornwall and part of north Cornwall and there is a particular need for drivers in Torpoint, Saltash, St. Cleer and Looe - but drivers from all parts of Cornwall are invited to give their time.

Being a volunteer driver involves meeting clients at their home, driving them to appointments, waiting while the client is at their appointment and then driving them home afterwards.

The service operates on a one-to-one basis with clients driven directly to appointments without collecting other people en route, which saves unnecessary delays and reduces journey times.

doctor health

"For older people who find it difficult to get around, or who live in rural areas lacking frequent public transport, community transport offers a vital link to local healthcare services. Our service helps older people stay independent, reduces the burden on the NHS and is cheaper than taking a taxi.

"Our volunteers are community heroes that make a genuine difference to the lives of older people. Volunteering is mutually beneficial to all involved and volunteers get as much out of the experience as they put in. We look forward to welcoming a host of new volunteer drivers to our team."

Peter Williams, Royal Voluntary Service's lead co-ordinator for Cornwall Community Transport

doctor

Cornwall Community Transport provides full training and support, and new volunteer drivers are accompanied until they feel confident driving clients to appointments.

Volunteers use their own cars, with clients charged a mileage fee to cover running costs. A DBS check is required and a clean driving licence is preferred.

Requests for transport are received centrally at the Royal Voluntary Service office in Liskeard, and are allocated to the clients' nearest available volunteer.

Drivers can commit to as many hours per week as they like; some work a couple of hours a week whilst others like to work every day.

health

"I've been a Royal Voluntary Service driver of over ten years and I really enjoy helping the older people I drive for, listening to their stories, and seeing the happiness in their faces as they recall past times. The work is flexible and all the staff are helpful and friendly. I would recommend this valuable role to anyone who can give a little time to help people".

Laurie Thrift, Volunteer Driver

"I don't know how I would ever manage to get to my appointments without Royal Voluntary Service; all of the drivers are so kind and helpful, they are a godsend. I am so grateful for all they do for me."

Mrs. Collins, a participant from Liskeard

You can find out more about becoming a volunteer driver with Cornwall Community Transport here.

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