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Volunteer drivers needed

DRIVERS with their own cars who can spare 30 minutes to an hour each week are being asked to sign up to transport lonely and isolated people in Southampton.

Communicare is looking for helpers to convey isolated and often lonely individuals to a weekly intergenerational CommuniTea event at Weston Adventure Playground.

Annie Clewlow, Manager at Communicare, which helps vulnerable and isolated people in Southampton, said: “We run CommuniTea coffee mornings with The Southampton Children’s Play Association (SCPA) every Thursday during term-time from 10am, which allows often lonely and isolated people to meet other people of all ages and socialise, which is extremely important for them.

“We have regulars who love to attend the events, however we urgently need more volunteer drivers to provide just a little bit of time each week to help get them to and from the gathering.”

Communicare currently has around 300 Communiteers and has launched a campaign to substantially increase this number to be able to support more people through all the services it offers, not just the coffee morning.

Richard Plume, Volunteer at Communicare, said: “I have been a volunteer driver for Communicare for the last two years. This involves driving service users to various medical and social appointments and helping those who need mobility assistance.

“I enjoy giving up my time for volunteering in this way as it is a rewarding experience. Service users appreciate the additional flexibility and assistance, which would not be provided by a conventional taxi service.”

Communicare is now inviting people from all walks of life and of all ages who have a current UK driving licence and their own car to get in touch. Expenses incurred will be reimbursed.

Communicare, which is a friendly, neighbourhood charity, provides services that enrich the lives of lonely and isolated people in and around Southampton.

Its services are staffed by its devoted volunteers, known as Communiteers, who give their time freely.

The charity is currently supporting around 600 individuals/families through tasks including one-to-one telephone befriending and transport for essential appointments and assistance with shopping.

The services Communicare provides are free to users, although beneficiaries are invited to make a donation if they are able to, and Communiteers are offered expenses.

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