Driving up help for volunteer scheme

Do you have any spare time on your hands and do you enjoy driving? If you do, then Nottingham City Council is keen to hear from you.

Help is needed to boost the pool of volunteer drivers who give up their time to transport other people around the city.

The service, run by the authority’s children and adults team, sees social workers make referrals for those who are unable to access public transport. This might be helping an elderly or disabled person get to an appointment, or taking a vulnerable child to school and back.

There is no upper or lower limit on how much time an individual can offer to the scheme. Some people do 20 hours a week, while others may do 20 hours a month or even less. The volunteer driver decides on their hours and what time of day or week they prefer to work.

Volunteers are not paid for their time, but they claim expenses for the mileage they do. Drivers are provided with on-going training and support, and have the opportunity to work within a small team which makes a big difference to the lives of others in Nottingham.

The council greatly values the important role that volunteer drivers play in effectively opening up the city to a group of people who otherwise would struggle to get to where they need to be.

The call comes at the start of national Volunteers’ Week, which started today (Wednesday) and runs until June 12.

To be a volunteer driver you need to have:

• At least two years’ driving experience
• Your own car
• A good driving record (no more than three points on your licence)
• A desire to help people, and be caring, thoughtful and patient

Anyone interested in learning more about the role can either call 0115 876 4646, email vol.drivers@nottinghamcity.gov.uk or write to the Volunteer Drivers Unit at Loxley House, Station Street, Nottingham, NG2 3NG.

A volunteer drivers support officer will provide more details and, if you decide you would like to join the scheme, you will be asked to fill out an application form. A Disclosure and Barring Service (criminal records) check will be carried out and it normally takes between four and six weeks to process the application.

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