Transport lifeline seeking volunteers

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A community transport car scheme - described as a ‘lifeline’ to elderly and vulnerable people - needs new volunteer drivers.

Three Counties Transport, which serves Haverhill and the surrounding area, has been hit by an increased demand for its service at a time when a number of its volunteers have retired it says.

It is launching a drive to find people to keep the community car scheme in the Haverhill area running.

Lyn Davis, Three Counties manager, said: “The transport we provide via the community car scheme is a lifeline to many people such as the elderly, those with disabilities and others who cannot find access to other means of transport.

“Without the service, many local people would struggle to carry out simple tasks such as go shopping, pay bills or attend medical appointments.

“We are currently around five drivers short, making it very difficult for us to cope, so we are appealing for anyone who has the time and their own vehicle to come forward and make a huge difference to their community.”

Drivers use their own vehicles to provide the community transport service, and they are reimbursed for expenses.

Three Counties Transport has served Haverhill and surrounding parishes in Suffolk, south Cambridgeshire and Essex for the past 15 years.

It merged with the Voluntary Network in the Forest Heath area in 2013 to provide extensive community transport services to more than 50 towns and parishes across west Suffolk and parts of Norfolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire.

In addition to Three Counties Transport’s community car service, it also runs a door to door dial-a-ride service for vulnerable people and has a wheelchair accessible vehicle for those unable to use public transport.

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer driver - or who would like further information about the Shopmobility scheme which offers help to anyone who has difficulty in getting around by loaning out electric scooters and wheelchairs - should call 01440 712028.