Budleigh’s life-line car service needs more volunteers

PUBLISHED: 15:08 27 September 2018 | UPDATED: 15:08 27 September 2018

Allan Cooper, chairman, Budleigh Salterton and District Voluntary Car Scheme

Allan Cooper, chairman, Budleigh Salterton and District Voluntary Car Scheme

Contributed

A lifeline service which helps residents in Budleigh Salterton get to medical appointments and make important shopping trips needs more volunteer drivers.

There are currently seven drivers who give up their time for the Budleigh Salterton Voluntary Car Scheme, covering more than 1,000 miles a month, each ferrying people to and from places like the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital and the Tesco superstore in Exmouth.

The driver shortage has left service organisers having to prioritise journeys for medical appointments over social or shopping trips.

Chairman Allan Cooper told the Journal that some residents who needed transportation have had to be turned away, adding: “We want to provide a service which we have always managed to do.

“We have had difficult times in the past and we’re having a difficult time at the moment.

“We do want more drivers. We’re always short of drivers but its finding a way of actually attracting them.

He also said they wants as many drivers as possible giving up as much time as they can.

“(We do) many local journeys, some of them will be to RD&E or other medical appointments,” added Allan.

“We have to prioritise the medical appointments at the moment but we would like to do social appointments.”

The problems faced by the car service have been made worse after Allan had an accident at home leaving him unable to do any driving himself.

He said: “I broke both my arms. I fell down the stairs. They have both been set but I need more treatment.

“For family reasons, I need to spend time in London so even if I was well enough to drive I wouldn’t be here to drive.”

Allan is also looking to step down as chairman of the car service saying he feels its time he took ‘a step back’.

Any drivers who want to give their time to help residents 
get to vital medical appointments and do their shopping only need to be able to drive to become a volunteer on the scheme.

Anyone interested should ring Allan on 01395 443995 or treasurer Margaret Brett on 01395 443769.

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