A lifeline service for borough residents has thrown out its own lifeline appeal. Boston Community Transport is appealing for more volunteer drivers after a shortage has led to it not being able to meet all transport requests.
Currently 543 people are registered to use the crucially-important service – many socially isolated, vulnerable and older people, who do not have access to public transport, cannot afford a taxi or simply do not want to leave their homes without a trusted, friendly, familiar face to pick them up.
But the normal team of 11 drivers is down to seven because of illness and one driver expecting a baby.
Angela Gould, Office Manager, Boston Community Transport, said: “This week alone we have had to turn away 15 trips and, in total, 33 for the month, which we hate to do as we want to assist as many people as we can.”
Anyone wishing to volunteer their services as a driver can contact Angela on 01205 360183 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org They will be invited to attend an interview and a DBS check and driving licence check will be carried out.
Volunteers must hold a full, clean, driving licence, have fully comprehensive insurance and a roadworthy, clean vehicle and the ability to assist people in and out of the car if need be, and on occasion push a wheelchair, plus be kind and friendly. No formal qualifications are required.
The drivers receive 45p per mile, which starts and finishes at their homes.
Residents are charged 60p a mile, which starts and finishes at the driver’s house to cover their expenses, with 15p goes towards the charity’s running costs. There is a minimum charge of £5 for a journey of up to nine miles.
Boston Community Transport was founded in May, 2004, to pick passengers up from their homes and take them to where they want to go to, in and out of the county, wait at no extra charge and drive them back home again. This could be for a doctor, dentist or hospital appointment, a trip for shopping, to visit family or other social reasons. Customers call the office where arrangements are made for them.
Angela said: “The drivers get a sense of giving back to the community. Many of our drivers are older and retired, some are home alone and love the interaction they get with the customers. We also have a young lady driver who is improving her English by speaking to more people while driving them around the county.”