Volunteers needed to drive people around in Burgh Castle, Belton, Browston, Fritton and St Olaves near Great Yarmouth

Highfield Road car park. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Highfield Road car park. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

A popular community car scheme that connects five villages to the south-west of Great Yarmouth is looking for more volunteer drivers to join its ranks.

The Five Villages Community Car Scheme provides a valuable service to vulnerable people in Burgh Castle, Belton, Browston, Fritton and St Olaves who have no access to transport of their own.

'Many of us take journeys to the doctor, dentist, hairdresser or the local shops for granted,' explained scheme manager Margaret Greenacre.

'But in every community there are older people, and sometimes younger ones too, who are unable to make those short trips themselves.'

More volunteer drivers are needed, and the call is going out for anyone who lives in or very near the five parishes to offer two or three hours a week to help out with the car journeys.

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Volunteers make use of their own vehicles to transport passengers to appointments at health centres or hospital, to do the weekly shopping, or sometimes for a social event or visit.

The volunteer is paid 45p per mile to cover fuel and wear and tear of their vehicle.

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The Five Villages Car Scheme has been running for five years, following a survey which showed that people were experiencing problems in accessing hospitals and other services.

More than 6,000 people live in the catchment area, of which about a fifth have limiting long term illness and around 200 households don't have a car.

The need for crisis intervention can be avoided through improved take-up of hospital, GP and dentist appointments and supported independent living, along with closer relationships and between people and social groups in local communities.

In addition to volunteers, Five Villages Community Car Scheme always appreciates donations towards operating costs.

On Saturday, February 11 there is a fund-raising raffle at the monthly coffee morning at the John Green Institute, Station Road, Belton to which everyone is invited to find out more about how to volunteer as a driver.

• Call 01493 780126 to find out more about volunteering as a driver or phone 07767063986 to book a journey. To find out more visit www.ncta.org.uk/volunteer

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