Drivers needed to help lifeline support group

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No Caption ABCDE EMN-190715-121059005

A lifeline transport service for borough residents is appealing for more drivers as it struggles to meet the demands for the service in Boston.

Boston Community Transport has 543 people registered to use its vital service – but it’s normal team of 11 drivers currently only stands at seven because of illness and maternity.

The service is available for 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 friendly face to pick them up. But the lack of drivers means that some are unable to get requested trips. Angela Gould, Office Manager, Boston Community Transport, said they had recently had to turn away 15 trips in a week and a total of 33 in the month.

“We hate to do that as we want to assist as many people as we can,” she said.

She is keen for anyone who wants to volunteer to come forward, and said it is a rewarding thing to do.

“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,” she said.

“We also have a young lady driver who is improving her English by speaking to more people while driving them around the county.”

Anyone wishing to volunteer can contact Angela on 01205 360183 or email her at 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. The drivers receive a mileage allowance.

Residents are charged 60p a mile, which starts and finishes at the driver’s house to cover their expenses, 15p goes towards 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 take passengers from home to where they want to go to, in and out of the county, wait at no extra charge and drive them back home again.