£15k for 'vital' rural transport service

A local council has issued a £15,000  grant to support a community transport service which connects people in rural areas to vital services.

North Lincolnshire Council gave the grant to the Humber and Wolds Rural Community Council for their Voluntary Car Service, which provides a lifeline for elderly, lonely, isolated or disabled residents in rural communities.

Volunteer drivers for the service – based in Barton upon Humber – take rural passengers to doctor and hospital appointments, and social care and community activities around North Lincolnshire and beyond.

Council leader Rob Waltham said: “These people rely on this service to help them get out and about, so it is only right to help this essential volunteer service to continue.”

North Lincolnshire Council has provided grants to the service for the past 20 years and demand is increasing for the service – described as highly valued by users.

In 2017, 290 additional passengers registered for the service, bringing the total registered users to 540.

In the 2016/17 financial year, these residents made 7,626 journeys through the Volunteer Car Service, a near 10 per cent increase on the previous year.

Tony Chase, the vice chairman of Trustees of the Humber and Wolds Rural Community Council, said: the service was rapidly increasing in its size and its scope and the £15,000 grant would enable it to continue.”

He Chase said: “Having first started in the 90s, the service is now very well established and is a real help for people who are unable to use public transport.

Without volunteetrs, it would be much more difficult for those who rely on the service to access their health and social care services and community activities – leaving them feeling isolated and impacting on their wellbeing.

“The number of volunteers for the service has increased over the last few years, helping the service keep up with increased demand from residents, said Councillor Waltham.

By next year, we expect to see the volunteer drivers helping residents make 8,000 essential journeys a year.


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