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Can you help Norwich charity provide lifeline to elderly and disabled people?

11:10 27 February 2013

Norwich Door to Door service that has been transporting people with mobility issues for 20 years. Pictured picking up pensioners from the Belvedere centre, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

Norwich Door to Door service that has been transporting people with mobility issues for 20 years. Pictured picking up pensioners from the Belvedere centre, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

A Norwich transport charity is appealing for volunteers to crew its new minibus and help elderly and disabled people get out and about.

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Norwich Door to Door relies on volunteers to operate its buses around the city, but is struggling from a shortage of drivers as older members retire.

The charity raised £33,000 for its new minibus in six months last year and, having taken on 54 passengers since August, has a waiting list of 10.

Chief executive Jill Gaul said: “There’s a shortage of volunteers, especially of drivers, and we are appealing for new people to come forward to help us overcome that shortage quickly.”

Volunteers can opt to work for as little as half a day a week, are offered the government-approved MiDAS driver training programme, and work in pairs with an assistant.

Norwich Door to Door offers low-cost wheelchair-accessible transport to around 500 disabled children and adults, and elderly people, acting as a crucial link to community life for people without any other transport.

“We’ve had to restrict the number of trips people can have every week, but clearly people with no other way of getting out would like to leave the house more than twice a week,” said Mrs Gaul.

“Charities are being squeezed, but volunteers can make a huge difference to them, and to people’s lives as well.

The charity has also applied for National Lottery funding of £67,000 to improve its bus fleet and update office IT systems.

To volunteer with Norwich Door to Door, email n-norwich@btconnect.com or call 01603 776735.

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