MP joins call for community transport volunteers
Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert added his voice to the call for volunteer drivers for the Storrington Area Help Scheme when he visited their stand at this year’s Washington Village Day.
Mr Herbert met Alan Craig and Janet Clarke, both volunteers with the transport Scheme, and heard about the importance of recruiting more drivers to help locally.
The Storrington Area Help Scheme provides an essential transport link for people less able to make health appointments in the local area. More volunteer drivers are needed and the team would like to hear from anyone with a car who is able to commit to as little as two hours a week to help.
The Storrington Area Help Scheme is a registered charity which covers Storrington, West Chiltington, Ashington, Washington and Thakeham.
Janet and Alan specify that volunteers do not have to make a regular commitment if they can add their names to the driver pool. Drivers can decline a journey request if it is inconvenient and can specify the locations which they are able to cover. A mileage allowance of 50 pence per mile is provided and passengers are asked to make a contribution for the service they receive.
Last year, the Scheme handled 1,400 requests for transport assistance. Volunteers also run the office team where extra help is also welcome from those who can donate their time but are unable to drive.
Mr Herbert strongly supports community transport schemes and is Vice President of the West Sussex Community Minibus Association, a service which also relies on an army of dedicated volunteers.
Alan Craig, administrator of the Storrington Area Help Scheme and a volunteer driver himself, said: “I was so pleased that Nick found the time to stop at our stand at the recent Washington Village Day event and we are very grateful to him for his continued support.
“The nature of our organisation means we rely on a fantastic office team to answer calls five mornings a week from those within our local catchment area who require essential transport for medical appointments. At the same time, it is also paramount that we have a pool of volunteer drivers willing to use their own cars to take clients to the various appointments.”
Mr Herbert said: “It was a pleasure to chat to Janet and Alan and to learn more about the Scheme. I am very happy to support their call for more wonderful volunteers who would be willing to help. It is a great way to support the local community.”
To register as a volunteer, please contact either Ian Dyke on 01903 743279, or Janet Clarke on 01789 813857.
1. Photograph – Janet Clarke, Nick Herbert and Alan Craig at the Washington Village Day.