Dartmouth Caring has made an appeal for more volunteer drivers to come forward as it deals with increased demand.
The charity, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, started as a transport service, taking people from the Dartmouth community to healthcare appointments – and this continues to this day.
Each day volunteers take people from the Dartmouth community to hospital, doctor and dental care appointments. Demand for the service has jumped this year: in 2011/12 there were 781 trips, this year so far there have been 891, which means the charity could see more than 1,000 trips before the end of their reporting year in April.
The charity is helping more young people and families as it looks to support all those it can help in the Dartmouth community.
The service is appreciated by the charity’s clients as it is more than a normal transport service: volunteers pick up clients, take them to appointment, wait until the appointment is finished and then return them home. Clients using the service make a donation to the charity for the trip. Drivers are not asked to handle money but receive donations in sealed envelopes, which are then delivered to the charity unopened.
Of the 100 Dartmouth Caring volunteers, 30 are drivers – and the charity hopes more will come forward. The charity reimburses their volunteer drivers at 45p per mile.
Dartmouth Caring chairman Dee Nutt said: “This is a vital service and we are seeing an increase in demand – as we are for all our services. Our drivers make a massive difference to the lives of our clients and help Dartmouth Caring in so many ways – keeping us connected to the community, allowing us to react quickly if clients need it.
“We hope there are a few people out there with some time to spare who can volunteer as drivers for us.”
If you would like to volunteer as a driver call Dartmouth Caring on 01803 839354 or email firstname.lastname@example.org