Ser­vice needs vol­un­teers to keep driv­ing its suc­cess

Pop­u­lar Chilterns Dial-a-Ride team is strug­gling to meet de­mand

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Camilla Good­man camilla.good­man@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A CHAR­ITY that pro­vides trans­port for peo­ple in Bucks with mo­bil­ity prob­lems is in des­per­ate need of some new vol­un­teer driv­ers to meet the grow­ing ser­vice de­mand.

The Chilterns Dial-a-Ride (CDAR) op­er­ates a suc­cess­ful and ‘much ap­pre­ci­ated’ ser­vice in Chiltern and South Bucks dis­tricts pro­vid­ing trans­port for those in the com­mu­nity with mo­bil­ity prob­lems . It runs a door to door ser­vice with trained driv­ers and minibuses all with wheel­chair ac­cess.

In April CDAR ex­tended its ser­vices to in­clude Wy­combe dis­trict. In a very short time, the char­ity had to ac­quire three more minibuses for its new cov­er­age £45,000.

Chair­man David Ou­vry said: “With­out them we could never have started. We’re de­lighted we man­aged to raise the full sum, thanks to gen­er­ous grants from The Heart of Bucks (Buck­ing­hamshire Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion) and The Par­a­digm Foun­da­tion, as well as two trusts that wish to re­main anony­mous.”

“We’re very pleased with the speed that peo­ple in Wy­combe dis­trict have been tak­ing up our ser­vice.

“In May, we had al­ready car­ried 497 pas­sen­gers from Wy­combe dis­trict over the month and in June, the fig­ure rose to 631, close to the num­ber of pas­sen­gers car­ried in our other two dis­tricts.

“This just shows un­der­ly­ing need for CDAR ser­vice.”

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How­ever, Mr Ou­vry said the char­ity, which is based in La­timer Park, is strug­gling to meet the de­mand for the ser­vice with its cur­rent num­ber of vol­un­teers.

He added: “We are run­ning at near full ca­pac­ity, but now what we re­ally need is more vol­un­teer driv­ers to help us meet de­mand.

“The vol­un­teer team is cur­rently about 20 strong, but they are fully stretched and with the blos­som­ing in Wy­combe dis­trict, the need to find more vol­un­teers is a top pri­or­ity.”

CDAR has a mix of vol­un­teer driv­ers as well as paid driv­ers and it pro­vides full train­ing for new re­cruits.

The char­ity has now joined the Bucks Time Credit net­work, a scheme which recog­nises the time vol­un­teers give to

MO­BILE : One of the three new minibuses that Chilterns Dial-a-Ride is us­ing in Wy­combe Dis­trict. The char­ity’s oper­a­tions and sched­ul­ing team se­nior trans­port of­fi­cer Jo Fran­cis-Gow and as­sis­tant sched­uler Jo Ash­down the com­mu­nity. For more in­for­ma­tion or to sign-up as a vol­un­teer call CDAR on 01494 766 123.

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