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Buckland Newton

Neighbourhood Car


At present we need new drivers. Since 4 April we have given 35 lifts shared by our team, which means no one driver is overburdened. A driver may complete 1 to 10 journeys in any 3 month period. Our drivers collect 50p per mile from their passenger and are paid 45p per mile. No one does it just for love! With holidays approaching and drivers away, there may be a shortage of drivers.
Buckland Newton Community Website
in the heart of rural Dorset
Diana Wells (Treasurer) writes:  “I have just completed the review of the Car Scheme for the 3 months to June. What an amazing feat. 10 drivers completed 56 journeys. One driver completed 15 and another 10 trips. 15 of the journeys were to Cerne Abbas Surgery and the rest were for social reasons or dentist and hospital ap- pointments. The average mileage for the journeys was 17.5, but actually as we made 8 trips to Wareham hospital this is not a measure of normality. I banked £570 for the 3 months. I get a lot of pleasure from helping with this scheme and get to know the passengers whilst we take them out and about. They have an amazing amount of knowledge about the area and local people. I can also do some of my shopping and banking when out and about! The passengers are so grateful for the help we can give them. Some of them would be totally isolated without the scheme and for others it gives them more independence. I think this shows what a great asset to the community this service is and it would be lovely if there were some extra people in the village who could spare the odd hour to help out. Their services would be greatly appreciated and there is no age limit for a driver! They just have a CRB check. Once the paperwork is done, there are no onerous duties. Sheila sends a general email to all drivers and offers are made to do the trip. Some of our drivers may only do 1 trip a quarter but this makes Sheila’s job as coordinator much easier, as it is one less trip to find a driver for. If you feel able to help the scheme please contact Sheila on 07733 849 264 or Susan Moring 01300 345760 or even me!” The Scheme now has a new Co-ordinator - Sheila Crouch, to whom we extend a warm welcome.  Sheila reports: At the Buckland Newton Car Share scheme AGM on 28th November, we discussed the loss of our bus service and that some individuals were struggling to obtain lifts into Dorchester etc. We were reminded that there is already a Dorset Car Share scheme in operation that anyone who is over 18 years old can join. Here is the link to pages re Dorset for You regarding the Dorset Car Share scheme: https://liftshare.com/uk/community/dorset I actually didn't log on, just put in a journey search from Buckland Newton to Dorchester and it came up with 2 people going that direction - 1 from Castle Cary to Dorchester and another from Sherborne to Weymouth with times they were going. If people want to register then they could either sign up for lifts or volunteer to take others. We have had someone in the village who regularly goes to Sherborne & Sturminster Newton say they are happy to provide lifts for anyone, but it would need to tie in with when they are going. Anyway, hope that this information helps you find other ways to share car journeys. If you need any more information about Buckland Newton Car Share scheme then please call 07733 849264. Sheila Crouch, Buckland Newton Car Share Co-ordinator Comments from those using our 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)