TRIP’s SOS for volunteer drivers in Seaton and Lyme Regis

PUBLISHED: 08:58 05 February 2015 | UPDATED: 09:02 05 February 2015

TRIP is looking for more volunteer drivers. Ref mhh 1116-47-14SH Picture: Simon Horn

TRIP is looking for more volunteer drivers. Ref mhh 1116-47-14SH Picture: Simon Horn

Archant

An East Devon-based community transport group which helps elderly people get vital medical treatment has issued an SOS for volunteers.

Organisers at TRIP say they desperately need to find more drivers in Seaton and Lyme Regis for their voluntary car service.

The scheme provides transport for people who need to keep medical appointments, visit hospital, see a dentist, optician or chiropodist.

But the number of drivers available has now reached crisis point in some areas.

Officer manager Neil Hurlock said Lyme Regis was particularly bad with just one driver now regularly available and two others helping out when they can.

“We are really struggling so we are having to turn people away because there are not the drivers available to take them,” he said.

“The drivers we have do the best they can but they have lives to lead as well.

“We set up the Lyme scheme some three years ago to ferry people from Dorset to Devon and vice-versa. We are now doing 300 to 400 journeys a year in that area.”

Mr Hurlock said they were also short of drivers in Seaton where one or two more volunteers were urgently needed.

He explained that the service concentrates on ferrying older people who are less able to use public transport.

There is a small charge – a round trip from Lyme Regis to Bridport is about £11.

Volunteer drivers are reimbursed at the rate of 45p per mile.

“Our volunteers are a lovely bunch and do a really great job,” added Mr Hurlock.

Anyone wishing to join the scheme as a driver should contact TRIP at its Honiton offices on 01404 46529 or visit http://www.tripcta.org/honiton_volcar.htm

● Charges for the voluntary car service are based on mileage covered - with a small contribution towards the cost of administration - and are reimbursed to the drivers. There is a minimum charge of £4 for the return journey – usually the driver will wait for the passenger and will then take them home. Payment is made directly to the driver at the time. People on certain benefits may be entitled to reclaim a portion of the cost for the journey to hospital appointments at the hospital main desk and the driver will give a receipt if required.

TRIP is a registered charity part funded by donations.


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