Providing Transport in the Community
Volunteering to assist your local community transport programme is a fun way of meeting other members of your local community whilst providing a valuable service at the same time. It enables people who may not have access to a car and who find it difficult to use public transport to get out and about. You may be called upon to take somebody to the hospital for a routine appointment or maybe you’ll escort a group of people on a day out. More often than not however, the schemes run so that people can make essential trips which they would otherwise have not been able to make.
Qualifications and TrainingAll you need is a full, clean driving licence and a kind and cheery disposition. Your role is not simply that of a driver as you’ll also be responsible for helping people who may be disabled get onto and off the vehicle which will also involve getting them into and out of their wheelchairs and safely stowing away their chairs and you’ll also be responsible for your passengers safety and well-being whilst they are in your care. You might also be called upon to do things like delivering a regular meals-on-wheels service to the housebound. You will receive training from your local community transport scheme before you start. You’ll get recognised industry certificates by completing courses like MiDAS (Minibus Drivers Awareness Scheme) and Basic Emergency First Aid thereby ensuring that you have all the skills and information you need to be able to carry out your duties safely and with confidence.
In addition to these formal training courses, you’ll also be taught how to lift people and wheelchairs onto and off the bus. Some local community schemes also allow you to use your own vehicle for this purpose, providing it is, of course, roadworthy and meets all the necessary health and safety regulations. In this instance, you’ll be reimbursed for all of your petrol costs and some local authorities will also contribute to some of the costs of the upkeep of your vehicle.