Drive for community transport volunteers around Whitby area

Mike Thomas is a driver with Whitby and District Community Transport.
Mike Thomas is a driver with Whitby and District Community Transport.

Community transport providers in Whitby are calling for more volunteer drivers to come forward to support them.

Last October, community transport providers across North Yorkshire joined together with the support of the county council to appeal for volunteers.

Six months on and over 50 new volunteers have signed up to join community transport schemes in their area, helping local people get to where they need to be.

Being a community driver is a great way to get out and about helping local people and volunteers can choose the hours that suit them.

Volunteers’ expenses are covered through the Go Local scheme either for use of their own car or a Go Local vehicle.

Mike Thomas is 62 and volunteers as a driver with Whitby and District Community Transport. Mike said: “I used to work off-shore on an oil platform but retired in 2016.

“I knew I wanted to do something in the community but I didn’t really have a fixed idea of what that would be.

“I started off with the voluntary car scheme. After that I did some training and now I can drive the minibus, too.

“My greatest pleasure is taking elderly people from care homes on trips and to luncheon clubs. Without community transport a lot of people just wouldn’t go anywhere.”

County councillor David Chance, executive member for stronger communities, said: “We’d like to hear from more people in Whitby who might consider being volunteer drivers to help meet the demand in that area.”

People who are interested in volunteering can register their interest at www.golocal-northyorks.community/get-involved or by searching ‘Go Local North Yorkshire’ online.