VOLUNTEERS are being encouraged to step up as drivers of a new community car for Langholm and Canonbie.
Annandale Community Transport Services (ACTS) has bought a VW Caddy which is now based in Langholm.
It will provide transport to hospital appointments for residents in Langholm and Canonbie.
The service is currently limited to hospital appointments because of a shortage of volunteers during the current crisis but it is planned to make the bus available for other users in the future.
The vehicle has been funded by the Langholm charity trusts, the Dumfries & Galloway Regionwide Community Fund, Muirhall Energy Ltd and from ACTS reserves.
Now the vehicle is ready to be used, the service is looking for volunteer drivers. What’s involved?
Who can be a volunteer driver?
Anyone aged 25 to 73 who has a full driving licence, preferably with no more than three points), enjoys driving and meeting people, and has time on their hands.
Will drivers receive training?
Yes. ACTS will provide training in Langholm for volunteer drivers. This includes a powerpoint session and an in-vehicle observed drive. Additional training such as first aid is also available.
How often do drivers need to volunteer?
There is no set amount of time for volunteering. It’s entirely down to the volunteer when they are available.
They are sent a list of driver requests and choose what they want to do. Detailed information about the request is then sent to the allocated driver.
Will drivers be protected?
Our priority is the health and well-being of volunteers and passengers.
The vehicle is fitted with a protective screen behind the front seat.
The passenger will travel in the rear and will wear a face covering, as will the volunteer driver.
The vehicle will be sanitised between use. Passengers will be advised not to travel if feeling unwell with COVID-19 symptoms.
Will the driver’s costs be covered?
Yes. Drivers can claim out-of-pocket expenses for subsistence such as a coffee while waiting for a passenger or even lunch if it’s an appointment in places, like Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Mileage expenses may also be claimed for drivers who need to travel to the vehicle base at 45p a mile.
For more information, please contact John Scott on 013873 81080, the ACTS office on 01576 203053 or email firstname.lastname@example.org