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Providing Transport in the Community

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 30 Dec 2015 | comments*Discuss
 
Community Transport Community Transport

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 Training

All 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.

Insurance

Whether you drive a minibus or use your own car, you will be covered by your local authority’s own liability and personal accident insurance whilst you are carrying out your duties.

Rewards and Benefits

Volunteering for this kind of work is an ideal way of giving something back to your local community and it will give you a real sense of accomplishment. It’ll enable you to meet new people, many of whom probably live close to you but whom you would not have met otherwise. They will be grateful for the service and support you’re providing as it allows them to still live their lives with a certain degree of independence enabling them to get out and about. It will also look good on your CV if you’re currently out of work and looking to get back into employment and will be especially beneficial if you’re looking for similar paid work, for example as a bus or taxi driver as you’ll be using your existing skills and knowledge whilst simultaneously learning new skills, emergency first aid being an example, which you’ll need if you intend to pursue a public transport driving role. You should contact your local social services department for more information about schemes operating in your area and how you can get involved.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Hi i am looking for a placement for my daughter who is wanting to gain work experience next year in july, her name is jessica and she would love to with the elderly doing crafts ,serving meals, and just about anything to make her self helpful ,i think jessica might get it from me because i was a carer for a number of years. Jessica is a lovely young lady even if i say it myself but please try and help her if possible its only for six days in total. many thanks jessicas dad, HAPPY NEW YEAR
daddie - 30-Dec-15 @ 3:16 PM
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