Across the county there are hundreds of community groups supporting people with health needs from day centres to self help groups to therapeutic activity groups and many of them have one thing in common. They need drivers!
An army of volunteer drivers help people who cannot access private or public transport to get out of their own homes and to activities that help them to maintain social contact with others, manage a long term condition or take a break from their caring responsibilities. Many of these drivers are part of a network of Community Transport schemes who operate both social care and minibus schemes to help people to get to groups, activities and appointments.
Without these drivers some people simply wouldn’t get out.
Driving as a volunteering role can be flexible, particularly when driving for a Community Transport Scheme, you can give as little or as much as you like – sometimes just an hour a week can make a huge difference to someone’s life.
Most driving roles will ask that you have a clean driving licence and no driving offences, if you will be driving your own vehicle then they may ask to see evidence that it is insured and has an up to date MOT. Volunteer driving comes under the heading of social driving for the purposes of insurance so you should not have to pay extra although you should always let your insurance company know that you intend to use your vehicle in this way to avoid confusion later. Most driving roles will also offer you expenses to cover your mileage whilst volunteering.
You can read more about the Association of British Insurers volunteer driving – Motor Insurance Commitment here
If you would rather not drive your own car there are driving roles that look for people to drive minibuses. In these cases you may be asked to take a driver awareness course called MIDAS training which goes through things to be aware of when driving and maneuvering a larger vehicle.
To find driving opportunities in your area you can select Driving from the activities menu when searching the Volunteer Essex Website or can contact your local centre to discuss more.