© 2004-2017 Buckland Newton Community Website Committee                           Last updated 21st August 2017 10:45                                   Website design and update by Jeremy Collins

Buckland Newton

Neighbourhood Car

Scheme

Buckland Newton Community Website
in the heart of rural Dorset
The Scheme now has a new Co-ordinator - Sheila Crouch, to whom we extend a warm welcome.  Sheila reports: “Just thought that I would give you an update on the neighbourhood car share scheme since my last article, when I had just taken over the co-ordinators role in October. Since the New Year we have had 37 requests for journeys from people in the village, of which 22 were to Cerne Abbas Surgery, 7 to Jasper’s (the local hairdressers), 2 hospital visits as well as trips to Sherborne and Dorchester for shopping and to the chiropodists. As you can see the service is well used and comments from those using the service include: “It’s the only way I can go anywhere now as I cannot use the bus anymore. It means I can keep my independence” “My family live 20 miles away and they work, so it isn’t always convenient for them to pick me up and take me to doctors’ appointments and I couldn’t get there any other way now.” Our drivers get a lot of  satisfaction from volunteering too: “I think the general thought of all us drivers is the immense satisfaction we get from enabling our more mature and less able neighbours to remain independent! In return we get some lovely company!!” “I am doing something to help other people and it makes me feel valued. Driving is something that I am still able to do! The people who use the service are really appreciative of what we do and they are all really nice!” We do have a small pool of volunteers but we need to expand it to be able to keep offering this vital service in our rural community. There is no commitment to be available at any set times, all that is required if you are interested, is to be added to the group email list, mind you a vehicle might help too! I now have this image in my head of a cyclist with trailer on the back with our customers being put in the back or being a pillion on a motorbike! A car would be the preferable mode of transport! You don’t even need to be on email, some volunteers I phone, as they either don’t have computers or don’t switch them on very often. When I get a request I email all of the drivers with details of the request and then they just let me know if they can do it. I then phone back the customer to let them know who will be collecting them. Some drivers will only do one journey a quarter whilst others can do more – it is entirely flexible and anything is appreciated. Most of the journeys requested are within the day time and often trips are less than an hour. The suggested donation for each mile driven is 50p with 45p going to the driver and 5p to the scheme. Drivers are reimbursed quarterly for the miles they have driven. Although some people feel that they would rather do lifts for nothing, it does make the clients beholden to them, which rather negates the point of the scheme. I am still getting a huge amount of satisfaction out of this role and it is lovely to have met and speak to people in the village who I had never come into contact with before. Certainly good for my well-being and lovely to be able to support others in the community. If you are interested in joining our pool of volunteers then give me a call.” The car share phone number is 07733 849264.  Sheila Crouch (Buckland Newton Neighbourhood Car Share Co-ordinator)