For the first time in its 40+ year history, the Syston and District Volunteer Centre is having to turn away urgent requests for help because of a shortage of volunteer drivers. A waiting list of over 40 local residents in urgent need of transport, which has now had to be opened, is growing on a daily basis.
Through its Social Car service, subsidised by County and Borough grant support, the Centre is able to help the elderly, disabled and isolated residents of Syston and neighbouring communities to sustain a measure of independence and their community and family ties.
This vital service is almost totally dependent on a team of volunteer drivers who can either use their own cars, in return for a generous mileage allowance, or one of the Centre’s own specially adapted vehicles.
In a typical month (July 2023), the current panel of 20 drivers gave 902 hours of volunteer commitment, clocking up 6089 miles completed involving 830 separate journeys. Demand for the service is growing as a result of the withdrawal of rural bus services and the effects of the cost of living increases begin to bite. With the current panel of drivers working at full stretch, many deserving cases are having to be turned away.
Now that Summer months have finished, if you are looking for ways to fill the time otherwise spent on outside hobbies and interests, why not consider volunteering your services to help over the Winter months when demand is as high, if not higher, than the Summer? Any number of hours you can offer – on any irregular pattern of availability – will be warmly welcomed. Any necessary support and training will be given.
Volunteers already involved speak of the deep sense of satisfaction and fulfilment their involvement gives.
The Centre is based at 18 School Street where Manager, Andy Shelton, will be happy to welcome you. He can be contacted by phone: 0116 2607 888 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Centre’s web site: www.syston-vc.org also provides additional background information.