I thought that I should just let everyone know that these two services (see below for ‘Community Connections’ information) are up and running again if you need support either getting to appointments, or matching up with someone who may be able to assist you doing those little things you struggle with. If anyone would like to join our band of volunteers there is no commitment to be available on set days, it is all run very informally. For more information give me a call on 07733 849264. Or email on email@example.comThis has been a busier year for requests for lifts for the scheme. 68 journeys have been completed and 14 others were requested but didn’t happen (9 of which were cancelled and 5 that were unable to be covered). In the previous year we had only 13 requests for lifts.The breakdown of the lifts has been:•22 to hospital appointments in Dorchester, Yeovil, Shepton Mallet and Weymouth•14 to chiropractor•12 to doctors’ surgeries at Cerne, Sturminster Newton and Puddletown•6 x Dorchester railway station•3 x dentists to Wimborne and Sturminster•2 x opticians•5 x Miscellaneous including taking someone to their son’s wedding.•We also had 4 requests in from outside our area.13 clients have used the service, and the lifts were covered by 10 drivers.We had 9 new clients join the scheme this year and we also carried out an emergency lift to Accident and Emergency department for someone who wasn’t registered with us. One new driver joined as a volunteer.We trialled responding to requests for same day journeys to doctors’ appointments and this was successful and will continue in the future.The car scheme was successful in gaining £160 donation from the Village fete and quite a few of our drivers supported running fete stalls which enabled us to request the funding.For the last 3 years the car scheme has not been able to cover its fixed costs (insurance and mobile phone) due to low number of requests, so it was agreed at the Car Scheme AGM on 1st November that a £10 annual registration fee per client will be introduced.Also, it was discussed at the AGM, whether the scheme could support those individuals who responded saying that they would be interested in a bus service. The scheme is unable to run regular journeys into Dorchester or Sherborne unless a client requests it. This is due to our insurance policy. In the past we regularly had groups of clients requesting shopping trips to towns which we always try to accommodate.If anyone is interested in joining the scheme as either a volunteer driver or client, then please contact Sheila Crouch at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message on 07733 849264 and I will get back to you.Sheila Crouch (Car Scheme Co-ordinator)Help Needed – can you spare an odd hour or 2?I am sure that many of you, may have been waiting a long time on hospital waiting lists for an appointment. Could you imagine, if when you have finally got an appointment, that you cannot attend, as you cannot get there! How frustrating and annoying would that be!Buckland Newton Community Car Scheme is seeing an increased demand for lifts to medical appointments, be it to the local surgeries to see the doctor or to various hospitals for treatment, or consultations. We have picked up several new clients recently and unfortunately in the last few weeks we have had to say that we cannot cover for lifts for them.Our lifts also include taking individuals to the chiropractor, live in carers to the railway station as well as supporting individuals to go shopping.Most of our lifts are in the week usually between 9am and 5pm, although we sometimes get the odd weekend request too for hospital appointments now.Once a request comes in, I email all of our volunteer drivers to see if anyone is available to cover it. You don’t need to be available at set times. The driving fits in round you.Drivers get paid a mileage allowance, get hospital parking permits, and have the satisfaction that they are supporting others in the village who need our help. Drivers need to inform their insurance company they are carrying out volunteer driving (usually no additional charge) and also get a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check from Dorchester Volunteer Bureau which is free.We know that our clients find the service invaluable to keep them independent and living in their own homes. Who knows in the future it maybe you, who will need a lift somewhere!If you think you could help, then please give me a call or email to find out more information (07733 849264 / e-mail email@example.com).Thanks,Sheila CrouchBuckland Newton Community Car Scheme Co-ordinator.Nordcat Dial a Ride ServiceI would also like to remind you about Nordcat Dial A Ride service, which covers our area too. This has set routes and is another local community transport operator that can pick you up at your door. For example, most Fridays they run the minibus to Dikes in Stalbridge – enough time for you to do your shopping and have a treat in the cafe. There is an annual subscription of £5 and if you have a bus pass, journeys are free. Journeys should be requested 24 hours before the journey. For more information phone 01258 472164.